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Council considers purchasing software for fleet department and fuel system

By Staff | Oct 24, 2011

Cape Coral City Council will look to move ahead next week with purchasing software for the fleet department and the city’s fuel management system without the use of a public bid process.

A majority of council ap-peared comfortable with the proposal as outlined by city staff, which includes a total of $331,000 worth of costs to upgrade both systems.

A total of $148,700 is being sought for the “FASTER” software for the city’s Fleet Department; while $132,577.76 is being sought for SCI Systems, the city’s fuel management software provider. SCI also requires an additional annual recurring cost of $49,909.64 and the “FASTER” software has $17,150 in recurring costs, but that figure is included in the total price.

Both systems will have the ability to interact, according to City Finance Director Victoria Bateman.

Bateman said the costs associated with SCI includes all maintenance to the software, hardware and database management, which SCI will maintain. Keeping track of the city’s fuel management will essentially be outsourced to the Clearwater based company.

“We’re struggling with trying to maintain the systems – the big thing about this is it puts all the management controls in place that were recommended by the audit,” Bateman said.

The audit of the city’s fuel system conducted by Lee County found roughly $32,000 of un-reconciled fuel between 2006 -2010, a figure that represents “Kool-Aid,” according to Council member Bill Deile.

The figure means nothing because the city had no way of knowing what it was spending or taking in, Deile said.

“It’s the Kool-Aid that’s been passed around for a year now. We don’t know how much fuel we bought or dispensed because there were no records,” he said.

The new systems will fix all of that, according to Bateman, and will also include greater security, conversion to a wireless system, engagement of an outside electrical engineering service to bring fueling stations up to code, new fuel rings and ongoing annual maintenance and support.

Bateman said the only item not included in the deal with SCI is an “act of God.”

Councilmember Kevin Mc-Grail said the costs associated with SCI keep increasing despite assurances from the company that it would not.

McGrail said he would have preferred putting the entire system upgrade out for bid instead of sticking exclusively with SCI.

“We’ve hitched our city to SCI and we’ve never seen an RFP to find out if this is the best for the city,” McGrail said. “We’ve committed to SCI and were rebuilding the system from the ground up – this has me concerned.”

Bateman said starting the process over from scratch would likely lead to higher costs as a new company would not want to maintain SCI’s software or hardware.

Meanwhile, City Attorney Dolores Menendez said the city has a meeting scheduled with Steicher Fuel’s lawyers this week to see if the two sides can come to an agreement on how much money is owed to the city for overcharging.

Streicher previously offered a $63,000 refund but the city declined the offer, instead seeking the full $220,000 it claims it’s owed.

“I’m hopeful this meeting will take place as scheduled,” Menendez said.