Buy local

Published 6:35 am Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kudos to new County Commissioner Oliver Sellers, who spoke up when he believed the county had the opportunity to save some money on a vehicle purchase.

Commissioners were reviewing bids for a Ford E-350 van to be used by the Decatur County Prison for inmate transport.

The low bid of $22,561 was submitted by a Ford dealership in Morrow, Ga., an Atlanta suburb located 227 miles north of Bainbridge. The second-lowest bid was submitted by Riverbend Ford of Bainbridge, whose bid was $846 more than the Morrow dealership’s.

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Although a motion had already been made to accept the low bids for the van and another vehicle, Commissioner Sellers suggested bypassing the low bid in favor of buying the van locally. He argued that the total expenses of sending someone to Atlanta to pick up the van and return it to Bainbridge would negate the $846 savings.

While it’s true that the basic cost of sending one person to Atlanta on a same-day round-trip would likely be less than the two bids’ difference, there are other considerations. Where will the van have to be taken if it requires warranty-related service? What is the true cost of not spending $22,000 in Southwest Georgia? Shopping locally not only supports the livelihood of a business and its employees, research indicates the money also turns over into other local purchases—in essence, it’s the oil that keeps our economic engine running strong.