GLEN ELLYN – The Glen Ellyn Village Board voted Feb. 24 to approve a $1.34 million contract with Kurtz Paramedic Service and purchase two ambulances for nearly $500,000.
Trustee Pete Ladesic cast the sole opposing vote.
The New Lenox-based company’s five-year contract was $636,676 less than the next-lowest vendor submission, according to village documents.
Despite the apparent savings, some officials had doubts.
“I don’t understand how one bid can be so much less than three other bids,” said trustee Tim O’Shea. “I hope there’s not something out there that we don’t know, that we don’t see, that’s going to come in year two, year three, year four or in a renewal.”
Kurtz’s clients include Wheaton, Westmont and Bensenville.
“We’re very confident in their abilities,” said Assistant Village Manager Al Stonitsch.
The village received four paramedic service proposals and considered three models for the agreement, documents said, eventually settling on one in which the village will continue to own and maintain its ambulance fleet.
Ladesic expressed concern about the village owning ambulances, which, he said, did not reflect a true fixed cost.
“It gives us the best budgetable model moving forward,” said Glen Ellyn Mayor Alex Demos. “I think we’ve done our due diligence.”
By opting to own its ambulances, the village will save about $153,000 per year, according to village documents, although it will bear accompanying liabilities.
Because the board chose to maintain responsibility for its ambulances, officials voted to buy two new vehicles from Foster Coach Sales, Inc., for $493,386, documents said, amending the annual equipment services budget to pay for the ambulances in 2014 and realize a pre-payment discount of $9,828.
The ambulances are estimated to have a lifespan of at least 10 years, according to village documents, and will replace current vehicles.
Staff and officials previously considered a model with a 5-year operating life, but Stonitsch said choosing the 10-year option will save the village $356,000.
The board voted in November to increase ambulance fees for nonresidents and add new fee categories for assistance not requiring hospital transport, a decision expected to generate more than $20,000 annually.
The new fees will go into effect June 15.