Rosann Keiser is the secretary for the Put-in-Bay Township Port Authority. We spoke with her about her department’s solicitation process before they adopted Bid Express®. At first glance, it’s similar to what we often encounter:
“Our engineers would create the estimate, then I would submit it in our local newspaper who would post it online for 2-3 weeks. If any contractors wanted to bid on it, they would contact our engineering firm, pay a fee for the plans, and submit before the bid opening.”
It’s that last little bit about submitting before the bid opening where things get interesting. To go further, we need to understand a little bit more about Put-in-Bay.
Put-in-Bay is a village (that’s right, a village) located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Ohio (that’s right, in Lake Erie). As a resort town, Put-in-Bay is home to about 600 year-round residents. Some of the residents aren’t even full time - when Rosann took our call, she was working remotely for the winter in Florida. While Put-in-Bay isn’t exactly a prime construction spot, regular tourism and winter air transportation keep the Port Authority busy while managing three island airports.
Airports may bring in tourists and some supplies, but most goods - including mail - come via ferry. If you’ve ever scrambled to make a bid opening deadline, you may begin to see the problem.
“We work with the FAA and we manage and operate the three Bass Island airports, so nearly every year we have a project going on with one of the airports,” said Rosann.