CITY COUNCIL WATCH : Commissioners review supply store contract
December 16, 2005
Author: Ryan Frank; The Oregonian
The City Council on Wednesday debated a proposed extension of its contract with Napa Auto Parts to run the Bureau of Parks & Recreation supply store at Mount Tabor. The council will vote on the proposed extension Wednesday.
In February 2004, the city contracted with Napa in an 18-month pilot project to see whether a privately run store could save money over a city-run shop by buying in bulk.
An audit in August by Keith Crawford & Associates found the city spent twice as much on supplies under the Napa contract. The city spent $1 million on supplies, such as lawn mower blades, while under the Napa contract between February 2004 and February 2005. The year before, the city spent $511,283.
Yet, Crawford said, Napa had discretion over about only one-quarter of the purchases. The remaining purchases were made to vendors mandated by the city and by employees who bought supplies at stores such as Home Depot.
On the purchases Napa had control over, the company saved the city $240,000 to $260,000 compared with the city operation of the parks store, Crawford said.
No one knows yet whether the city saved money while contracting with Napa. The answer depends on how much inventory sits in the store.