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Village to Negotiate with Tree Removal Companies

A vote to issue a contract for ash tree removal was delayed Monday night due to confusion over prices.

Buffalo Grove will invite a bidding war between two tree businesses competing for a contract to remove infested ash trees in the village.

Buffalo Grove officials were prepared to vote on a 2013 contract with Hoffman Estates-based Central Forestree Monday night when another bidder objected, stating that his company actually provided the lowest price.

Based on prices submitted for removing trees of various diameters, the village determined that Central Forestree would charge $361,406.25 for next year’s work, while the second-lowest bidder, Lake Villa-based Clean Cut Tree Service, would cost $389,129.17.

Following a conversation with Clean Cut Tree Service’s Michael Kelly, village officials determined that the company’s prices were lower because Buffalo Grove has more small-diameter ash trees than reported when bids were solicited.

Based on those numbers, Kelly argued Monday night that his company’s total price would be $45,000 lower than his competitor. He asked that officials reject all of the proposals and rebid the project.

Village Manager Dane Bragg said that Kelly made “a valid argument.”

“In hindsight, it probably made it more complicated than it needed to be,” Bragg said of the village’s process, which began with bids based on specs. Officials then applied the bidders’ prices to the specific trees slated for removal.

Rather than award a contract Monday night, trustees unanimously agreed to negotiate with the two lowest bidders to achieve the best deal.

“We can negotiate with them and hopefully get an even better price,” Trustee Steve Trilling said.

Bids submitted by three other companies were considerably higher than the other two, and those companies will not be invited to negotiate with the village.

The village expects to pay more than $2 million over the next three years to remove dying and dead ash trees on public property and restore the parkways.

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