Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says he’s going forward with a three year, $3.75 million contract with NAPA Auto Parts — despite nearly unanimous opposition from the city council.
“You can’t just give a lucrative $3.5 million plus contract with a built in ten percent profit to a business without competitively bidding it,” said Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin.
The city procured the contract through the National Joint Power Alliance, which has an agreement with the state of Minnesota for such ventures but not, apparently, with the state of Illinois.
The city filed a Freedom of Information Act Request looking for that agreement, but nothing was found. Houston told WTAX this week that he’s not convinced that means an agreement doesn’t exist, he thinks perhaps it just couldn’t be found. He points to 400 governmental entities in Illinois that have used NJPA for various procurements.
NAPA is set to manage auto parts in the city’s new consolidated garage.