GREENFIELD — The city of Greenfield probably has been overspending on chlorine for years because the water department did not seek competitive bids for the material, local officials recently learned.
It’s hard to tell how much the city could have saved because no one knows how many years purchases have not been bid. But city officials now expect to save $15,000 to $17,000 a year.
The issue came before a surprised Greenfield Board of Works last week when water superintendent Michael Fannin made a presentation on the last five years of chlorine expenditures.
From 2009 to 2013, the city spent $14,000 to $26,000 on chlorine each year. New bids were opened, showing the city could be spending as low as $8,000 this year on chlorine. The chemical is used as a disinfectant in municipal water supplies.
Fannin, who started work with the city about six months ago, said he noticed Greenfield’s high per-pound expenditure for chlorine while looking through the department’s budget. It raised a red flag because, in his experience with other municipal utilities, the price seemed excessive. Fannin began asking questions about why the city hadn’t sought bids for chlorine in the recent past.