ELY – The city of Ely’s property taxpayers stand to save thousands of dollars this year on the cost of required legal publishing with the city council’s decision Tuesday night to name the Ely …
ELY – The city of Ely’s property taxpayers stand to save thousands of dollars this year on the cost of required legal publishing with the city council’s decision Tuesday night to name the Ely Timberjay as its official newspaper for 2019.
It was the first time in at least three years that the Timberjay had submitted a bid, and the lack of competition had sent the city’s legal publishing costs with the Ely Echo skyrocketing.
The Echo also submitted a bid this year, but it was nearly twice as expensive as the quote provided by the Timberjay.
Ely’s city charter requires the legal newspaper designation be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, according to Clerk-Treasurer Harold Langowski.“Bids are accepted from a paid newspaper of general circulation in the city of Ely,” he said. “Based on our interpretation of the charter, both of the newspapers meet that requirement.”
In comparing the two bids, the cost of a lower-case alphabet letter and the cost of a provided sample ad were used.
The cost of a legal print ad in the Timberjay costs $0.1857 per lower case alphabet, compared to $0.3516 for the Echo.
The cost of a sample display ad in the Timberjay was bid at $8.85. The cost of the same-sized sample ad in the Echo was more than double in price at $18.27.
Langoswki said the Echo has been the lone bidder for the Ely legal newspaper for several years and he has seen their bid price for advertising steadily increasing. “These are taxpayer dollars we are talking about spending here,” he said.
Echo General Manager Nick Wognum wrote in a letter to the city, “The legal newspaper services we provide far outweigh any other proposal you will receive because we have a higher circulation than anyone else. You get the best bang for your money locally at the Ely Echo.”
Relative circulation had no bearing on the bid process, however, per the city’s charter.
Both media operations have property-owning employees living in the city of Ely.
In other business, the city council:
‰Named city council members to various city committees with new council member Angela Campbell named to the Gardner Trust, Employee Relations and Heritage Preservation committees.
‰Named former mayor Ross Petersen to the Events Coordinator Board.
‰Asked for interested community members to submit their name to serve on the Ely Ambulance Board.
‰Selected Warren Nikkola to a renewed term on the Ely Utility Commission, and also named Mauro Caruso and former EUC member Anthony Colarich to the oversight committee.
‰Hired Justin Akins as the Ely Fire Department’s newest member, pending his passing of a physical and drug test.
‰Granted a request from Tour Minnesota requesting camping in Whiteside Park June 17-18.
‰Agreed to provide in-kind services for the Ely Winter Festival, set for Feb. 7-17.
‰Approved EUC rate hikes for 2019 following a public hearing where one resident, Mike Banovetz, spoke in support of the increases.
‰Approved a Residential Rehab Loan for Ryan and Michale Callen for $4,500 to replace basement sewer lines.
‰Named Heidi Omerza as the acting mayor for 2019.