During Tuesday’s meeting, Washington County Commissioners approved the purchase of two ½ ton dual cab trucks for the County Engineer, Don Werth. The low bidder on the trucks was Caldwell Country at $21,545 each. KWHI has since received several emails questioning why a local dealer was not awarded the bid. The second highest bidder was Brenham Chrysler Jeep Dodge at only $62 more or just 3/10 of one percent higher. During the meeting, Werth, who announced the low bidder, did not reveal that Brenham Chrysler's bid was just $62 higher. When the Commissioners asked him about local bids, he just stated there were some within 3%.
We contacted County Judge John Brieden for his explanation. Brieden said that state law does allow commissioners to go with a local bid if it is within 3 percent of the lowest bid. He also said that he and the four commissioners where aware that local resident Jon Hill is a part owner in Caldwell Country, and therefore they consider it a local company. Brieden said because of this they had no issue with going with the lowest bidder.