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St. Lawrence County moves forward on highway vendor

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County has moved a step closer to having a vendor manage the inventory of its highway department.

At a committee meeting Monday, legislators agreed to contract with Gillee’s Auto Truck and Marine, Ogdensburg, the only company to submit a proposal, to inventory all of the highway department’s parts and then to provide parts as needed.

The proposal includes a net monthly profit of 10 percent based on a total of all purchased parts and a monthly service fee. Over a year’s time, the service fee will be $69,000. The company will take all of the department’s obsolete parts and resell what it can, with proceeds going to the county, or the parts will be sold during the county’s surplus auction.

Legislator Anthony J. Arquiett, D-Helena, said he thought the profit percentage was too high.

“I’m very concerned about the 10 percent level,” he said.

But Legislator Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk, said the county is on safe ground.

“We have nothing to really lose in this. We have a 30-day notice to get out at any point,” she said. “I think it’s a decent bid. It’s a reputable group.”

Even with the markup, the county expects to save because it will receive a discounted price based on bulk purchasing. In addition, it will not have to maintain its own inventory valued at several hundred thousand dollars.

Gillee’s will not just provide National Automotive Parts Association parts but whatever the county needs, Highway Superintendent Toby W. Bogart said.

“They are very flexible in that,” he said.

High-usage parts will be available on demand.

The contract is for one year with four one-year continuations.

Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, said the program could expand to office supplies or include other municipalities.

“What I really like is they have the ability to grow and we can grow with them,” he said. “We’re doing business locally. We’re keeping our people. We have a great checks and balances.”

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