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Park District Approves Some Food Vendors for Arrowhead

Commissioners want fixed price bids in order to prevent price increases due to market conditions.

The Wheaton Park District Board of Commissioners approved $398, 197 in bids for some food vendors for the restaurant at Arrowhead Golf Club.

The only bids the commissioners approved were bids with fixed pricing. Food service companies often contract their services through commodity pricing which gives the companies leeway to raise their prices if costs increase. In order to save money this year though, the park district wanted to see if companies would risk setting a fixed price. Park District Executive Director Michael Benard said it was an effort to “take control” of the bid process.

“We wanted to see if there were vendors who were willing to gamble,” Benard said.

Responding to a question about capping food costs in the bids, Steve Glass, food and beverage director at Arrowhead, said most food companies would likely not go along with such a scheme because it might hurt them financially if prices were to spike.

Because Arrowhead is owned by a government entity, the restaurant must contract with vendors through a public bid process. Commissioner Phil Luetkehans said they do not have the luxury of seeking new vendors if prices are raised due to market conditions.

“We don’t have that luxury. Once we bid it out we’re in it for a year,” Luetkehans said.

The board rejected all submitted bids that used commodity pricing and accepted bids from five companies. The accepted bids include:

  • $71,518 for bread from Highland Bakery
  • $212,266.70 for meat from Consumers Packing
  • $81,480.15 for produce from Get Fresh Produce
  • $32,872.96 for smallwares and paper goods from TriMark

Bids for appetizers, seafood, poultry, beverages, dry goods and general groceries were rejected because the only submitted bids were commodity based pricing. Ray Morrill, president of the board of commissioners said those bids would be reopened.

Additionally district commissioners approved a measure to display the proposed annual budget for the next 30 days. A public hearing about the annual spending plan will be held Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

Residents can find the budget on the park district Web site and hard copies available at the Wheaton Public Library and each park district facility. Currently though, there is no executive summary available with the budget. Benard said one will be provided later after park district commissioners who have not had the chance to review the full budget, submit any questions or concerns. Although no hard deadline was set by Benard, he told Commissioner Kim VanderSchaaf that Oct. 12 would not be too late to submit any questions.

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