16:17 PM

Kenosha Finds Success, Equipment by Utilizing Contract

City 'branches out' for needed equipment

Jay Getka knows money doesn't grow on trees.

So, when the Fleet Manager for the city of Kenosha saw the dollars his city could save by purchasing equipment versus renting, he knew it was time to branch out.

For the past 15-plus years, the city of Kenosha has offered biannual composting services to its citizens. Getka said the city allows for drop off or curb collection of yard waste, including trees, leaves, and grass clippings. The city then processes the waste using a trommel screen, an integral piece of equipment its public works department didn't own.

“For years we've been renting a trommel screen for our compost site,” Getka said. “Over the past few years, to acquire rental at the time frame we needed it, when our product was ready to run, it was just difficult due to the fact of not major availability of trommel screens for rent in our area.”

The city then budgeted for the purchase of a trommel screen to keep product moving when and as needed to meet citizen demand.

Getka's team had been renting a trommel screen from Vermeer Wisconsin and was pleased with the quality of the product and ease of use. So, when it came time to buy one of their own, Getka said they wanted to stick with what they knew.

“It does a great job,” Getka said of the Vermeer trommel screen. “Limited downtime for cleaning and maintenance. It's something our operators are familiar with, know how to use; and we could hit the ground running with our own machine as soon as it was up and operational.”

Getka said the city received great service and support after the sale and delivery, including Vermeer-specialist training with city mechanics and site operators to ensure they were familiar and comfortable with maintaining and operating the equipment.

The city also appreciated the up-front pricing available through cooperative purchasing with Vermeer's Sourcewell contract.

“I've been doing this enough to know that either I have to put it out for bid or if I can find a cooperative purchasing contract, I can purchase off of that,” Getka said. “So, right away, knowing that I've dealt with Vermeer in the past through Sourcewell, I just talked to the salesman and said, ‘Okay, great. Give me Sourcewell pricing on this.’ And that way, I knew my budget number and right where I needed to be.”

Getka said as most municipalities budget a year in advance and are forced to deal with price increases and surcharges from year to year, having upfront Sourcewell pricing and knowing it’s a firm dollar amount, "that was a big reason why I went that direction."

This wasn't the city of Kenosha's first time utilizing cooperative contracts through Sourcewell, and certainly won't be the last, Getka noted.

"I think what brings me back to continue to use (Sourcewell) is the ease of use. Instead of having to put a bid spec out there, wait for bids to come in, review bids, verify everything meets my specifications – the ease of upfront talking to the salesman and say, ‘this is what I want, and I want to purchase this on a Sourcewell contract so give me pricing right up front.’

It takes the guessing game out of it all for myself; takes the hours and hours of paperwork and legwork behind the scenes that nobody ever sees except for the ones that are doing it; takes that all out of there and allows me to come up with a price to budget and saves many, many hours."

Getka said, if he were to guesstimate the amount of time utilizing this particular contract saved him, he said it would easily account for two to three days of work.

“When I've used Sourcewell before for multiple purchases or multiple options, hundreds of hours – over the course of the last four or five years that I've been using Sourcewell – have been saved on just my side alone. It's just a great tool to have in the toolbox for me to use.”