After a week’s time to review fuel bids submitted by Agriland, FS and United Farmers Cooperative (UFC), the Clarke County Board of Supervisors have awarded the 2023 fuel bid contract to UFC; Agriland held the contract last year.
The sealed bids were opened at the Jan. 23 supervisor meeting. The bids were for #1 ULSD fuel, #2 ULSD fuel, and gasohol. The bid from Agriland came in at $3.475/gallon for #1 ULSD fuel, $3.225/gallon #2 ULSD fuel, and $2.543/gallon - no tax included for gasohol.
The bid from UFC saw $3.22/gallon for both #1 ULSD fuel and #2 ULSD fuel, and $2.6/gallon for gasohol - plus state excise tax. In the case of #1 ULSD fuel, UFC will charge the difference on the day of delivery based on that day’s differential.
Bids also included winter and summer additives, as well as diesel exhaust fluids. The total amount of gallons included in the bid were 45,000 gasohol and 130,000 diesel fuel.
“[I’ve] had a chance to look at the numbers; if every rate was flat, it would just be a simple ‘this number’s greater than that number,’ but we had to [look] at some scenarios,” said Clarke County Engineer Christian Boehmer
Boehemer said in the scenarios and hypotheticals run, the prices bid by UFC came out higher than Agriland. He also acknowledged accounting errors with Agriland over the past couple of years, and that those needed to be taken into consideration.
“As a county…it’s our responsibility to get the best price we can for the taxpayers,” said Boehmer, who recommended awarding the contract to Agriland based on the numbers available to them.
Before a decision was made, representatives from both UFC and Agriland had a chance to address the supervisors, under the guidance of supervisor Dean Robins to explain what each company could do for the county, not what they were doing versus their competitor.
Loren Gerleman with Agriland spoke on the accounting/billing errors from last summer, stating that once the error was found, they had corrected it. Gerleman also said that Agriland could lock in the price for #1 fuel, and that there would be no fuel surcharge on deliveries this year.
UFC’s Darin Schlapia told the board that they had bid the #1 fuel with the daily difference as a way to be fair to both the county and themselves. Schlapia also offered to work with the county on possibly locking in a rate for #1 fuel later on this year if prices were to come down to a more favorable range. He said that UFC has cell monitoring on all of their tanks, with email reports sent directly to their drivers so that the county does not have to worry about checking their tanks. Katie Jolliff with UFC concurred that the tank monitors would be of a large value to the county.
Robins thanked both parties for their bids, and asked for a motion on awarding of the bid. Supervisor Austin Taylor made a motion to accept the fuel bid from UFC, seconded by supervisor Randy Dunbar. The motion was passed 3-0.