WOODSTOCK — Nearly a month after awarding a plow and sand bid for the roads in the Concord Pond area, the Board of Selectmen were forced Tuesday evening to seek out someone new after the original bidder withdrew his bid.
During the board’s Sept. 16 meeting, the selectmen voted 2-1 to accept a $54,336 bid by Gerry McKenna to plow and sand the roads in the Concord Pond area. Board of Selectmen Chairman Victor Young and Selectman Stephen Bies voted to approve the bid, while Selectman Ron Deegan voted against it.
Town Manager Vern Maxfield said that he and County Administrator Scott Cole had suggested that the 10 miles of road in the Concord Pond area be bid out as a package for the upcoming winter.
McKenna’s bid was $1,386 higher than Joshua Farrington’s bid, Maxfield said, but the selectmen went with McKenna “based on the work history we have with him, and the fact that, as of now, Mr. Farrington has not purchased any equipment.
“Two or three days after we accepted Gerry’s bid, he called us up and said that he would have to withdraw the bid,” Maxfield said. “He said that he wouldn’t be ready to do the work this year. I talked with Scott Cole, the County Administrator, and we both agreed that you should award the plowing and sanding bid for the Concord Pond area to Joshua Farrington, and that you should pay him what you were planning on paying Gerry McKenna.”
Bies asked Farrington how soon his equipment would be ready.
Farrington replied that he had “one truck ready to go within a couple of weeks,” with a total of two trucks being used to plow the roads in the Concord Pond area.
“Is that going to be enough?” Bies asked.
“I think it will be, and if I need an extra truck, I’ll use my own plow,” Farrington said.
“You look like a good and reliable worker, but there’s just something a little irregular about using a different bid than the one you gave us,” Bies told Farrington. “I’m going to be voting against this. It’s not because of you. It’s because of the price.”
Young said that he “had a different opinion.”
“I see this as an opportunity for a new working relationship,” Young said. “We could’ve been left high and dry by him if he decided he didn’t want to come back, and we may have had to look for a new bidder at a higher cost.”
In other business, the selectmen unanimously voted to hire Bethel Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Warden as Woodstock’s new code enforcement officer.
Warden will replace Joelle Whitman, who also serves in that position for Norway and Greenwood.
Maxfield said that Warden would continue as Bethel’s officer.
“If at any point, it seems like this isn’t working out for you, don’t hesitate to tell us,” Maxfield told Warden.
“Same goes for you,” Warden said.