Public Works wants to end $20K cap on fuel
A Public Works Department request to end a $20,000 purchasing cap on motor fuels did not please one supervisor this week.
District 2 Supervisor Dwight Foltz expressed surprise Tuesday when Director John Linhart brought the matter to the board as inclusive for all vehicle fuels.
"Originally it was for aviation," Foltz said. "Motor vehicles being added could open the door for a motor fuel problem."
On March 6, Linhart asked for a waiver of the purchasing limit because his department needed to buy aviation fuel for the county airports in Willows and Orland.
That fuel has recently been going over the $20,000 limit due to conditions in the spot market, Linhart said.
The county currently does not have an aviation fuel supply contract with a specific vendor since the last one expired in August.
Now Linhart is seeking a request for proposals from another company, he said, but noted an earlier RFP sent prior to the contract's expiration did not bring in any responsible bidders.
As a result, Glenn County Public Works has been paying up to $32,000 for aviation fuel purchases in recent months because of the current market conditions, he said.
The department also has incurred late fees and overage charges because of delays in payment since Public Works needed the Board of Supervisors' authorization to exceed the $20,000 limit.
With those problems in mind, the board asked Linhart to come back with an amendment to the purchasing ordinance specifically addressing the aviation fuel issue.
Earlier this month the supervisors approved a minute order allowing Linhart to exceed the $20,000 limit for the airport fuel tanks, but that was a one-time fix.
Each airport has a 10,000 gallon above ground fuel tank that supplies aviators with fuel for their planes, county officials said. Pilots purchase this fuel from the airports.
Linhart said he added the motor fuels designation to the amendment to cover other fuel costs related to road division vehicles that are rising as well.
However, it would not affect most other county vehicle gas or diesel purchases since those are done with credit cards serving various departments, he said.
Assistant Finance Director Deborah Storz told the board she had two concerns about the amendment which she had shared with Linhart and Finance Director Ted Rozmaryn.
One is there is no limit on purchasing and two she did not feel it would solve the situation, Storz said.
She asked Linhart and his staff to meet with people in her office to review the policy and try and work something out that would be more suitable.
"I hear what you are saying," Supervisor Leigh McDaniel told Storz. "That would be a good way to go."
At the same time, McDaniel, who is a pilot himself, also said he was comfortable with lifting the aviation fuel limit for now in the short term.
County Counsel Huston Carlyle advised the board it could not extend the March 6 minute order Tuesday because it was not agendized for that meeting.
"My comfort zone would be better if Finance and Public Works bring something back as soon as they can," Supervisor Mike Murray said.
The board opted to continue the matter to its April 3 meeting for an update.
Contact Rick Longley at 934-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.