Ross breaks from the past with decision to seek bids for towing work
For the first time in decades, Ross Township will seek competitive bids for its contract to have vehicles towed and stored.
The board voted 7-0 on Sept. 17 to seek requests for proposals from companies interested in providing on-call towing and storage of impounded vehicles, or towing and clean-up of vehicles involved in a crashes in the township.
Board President Steve Korbel said seeking competitive bids can benefit the community.
“It’s important to for us to examine the service we pay for to ensure that our taxpayers are receiving good value,” he said.
Commissioner Dan DeMarco, who serves on the public safety committee, said bidding out the towing services is long overdue.
“We were supposed to review this annually, even if that only meant checking with the police chief to see if he is satisfied with the service we were receiving,” DeMarco said. “But for at least the last 20 years we didn’t do that. Whenever the question of bidding out the contract came up it was sort of pushed aside because some commissioners on the board didn’t want to see anything change.”
During that time, the township usually hired Mazur Collision & Services Center on Babcock Boulevard. The company is co-owned by former commissioner Lana Mazur, who lost her bid in November for a fourth term as the Ward 4 representative.
In the weeks leading up to the decision to seek competitive towing bids, a number of residents spoke at the board of commissioners meetings in support of the service Mazur’s company has provided.
Korbel noted that the Mazurs will be able to submit bids seeking the contract to continue providing the services.
Their ability to participate in the bidding process was unclear because an early draft of an ethics law that had been proposed would have prohibited former elected officials from doing business with the township for at least two years.
But an opinion from the township solicitor that it would be illegal to apply such a provision retroactively prompted the board to remove it from the final version that was approved on Sept. 17.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or [email protected] or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.