Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

Better Late Than Never: City Manager's Due Diligence Saves Lake City Taxpayers Almost $9k

LAKE CITY, FL – Last night, after City Manager Wendell Johnson took time to do his due diligence, the City Council approved a contract with Tindale-Oliver & Associates, which saved the citizens of Lake City $8,686 on a Fire Assessment Rate Study fee. The Tindale-Oliver contract which City Manager Johnson presented to the Council on March 3d was for $33,650. Before the March 3d meeting, your reporter advised Councilman Ward that the County had just completed its rate study at a negotiated contract price of $24,978. Councilman Ward moved to table the item until last night.

The day following the March 3d Council meeting, one of the first things the City did was request a copy of the Columbia County/Tindale-Oliver Fire Assessment Study agreement from the County.

Then, the City Manager renegotiated its contract with Tindale-Oliver.

In 2006, Lake City contracted Government Services Group for a Fire Assessment Study that year.

The Observer's records show that in 2008, Lake City contracted for another fire assessment study, this time with Tindale-Oliver. The cost for that study was $56,380. The rates resulting from that study would have gone into effect in 2009.

It appears it has been at least 8 years since the City has put out a Request for Proposals for a consultant for its fire rate study.

This is not the first time Lake City has let contracts linger on and on without going out for proposals, which keep everyone on a straight path. Lake City is not the only Municipal Government to do this.

Earlier today, Assistant City Manager Grayson Cason said, "The purpose of the Fire Assessment Study is to make sure the public is charged fairly and the cost of the Fire Protection Service is equitably distributed."


Now that City Manager Wendell Johnson has done his due diligence on behalf of the City Council and the people of Lake City, the cost to find out the "equitable distribution" is almost $9k less than he originally recommended.

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