By bobby firstname.lastname@example.orgRBC I Several people were present at the most recent meeting of the Rio Blanco County commissioners, where 10 vehicle bids were awarded, three of them to local vendor Northwest Auto Sales and Service.Sealed bids were opened and read two weeks ago by Rio Blanco County fleet manager Dave Overton, who reviewed them and returned Monday with his recommendations, none of which were in favor of the local vendor.Rio Blanco County commissioner Shawn Bolton said several of the bids were within a few thousand dollars and after the commissioners spent time last week researching the issue, Bolton made motions to award three of the bids to the local GMC dealer.Bolton said they felt comfortable spending $1,500 to $1,700 more to purchase local but would need more information over time to see if the comfort zone would increase.“I’m all for supporting the local economy but we have to be responsible in doing so,” Bolton said.Maintenance and fuel records will be monitored over the next few years of use, to determine the if county will save money in the long run.Local building contractor Jerry Belland praised the commissioners for their decision of buying local and handed out information about the “local multiplier effect,” to commissioners.“We need to track them, then educate the people,” Belland said. “By purchasing locally, we can better our economy and look out for ourselves. The amount that stays locally is three times the amount spent. It is what is going to give us a sustainable community.”Business owner Keith Fitzgibbons agreed and said, “In the long run you’ll find you didn’t spend more,” by purchasing locally. “We need to encourage people to do it more.”Not everyone in attendance was pleased with the commissioners though, as Denver Hayes said he had problems with the “arrogance,” of the building department saying, “It is still out of hand.” Hayes also said the county has an appraisal problem.“We have a very professional department now but there is room for improvement,” commission chairman Kai Turner said. “We can try having another stakeholder group meeting, if it helps solve problems and does not turn into a venting session.”The commissioners are working on dividing the planning and building departments and will set up a board of appeals for the building department to work out issues.Belland also spoke in favor of the job the building department has been doing and was appreciative of relationship he has with them.In other business, the commissioners approved the construction and use of a proposed pipeline beginning at the Meeker Gas Plant and ending at the Greasewood Hub site for Enterprise Gas Processing. The project is expected to start in July.Commissioners also approved the construction and use of a pipeline gathering system for Bargath, Inc., which also includes a 17.4 acre compressor station site but work on the project is not expected to start this year.