Spokane’s public facilities district broke its own rules when buying more than $700,000 in food service equipment for the Spokane Convention Center without seeking competitive bids, the state auditor’s office said Monday.
The district defends the 2005 purchase, saying it saved taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars by waiving competitive bidding requirements. The equipment cost $717,842, which the seller, a company called Centerplate, claimed were “factory-direct” prices.
Calls to two other companies, Bar Green-Ellingson and Smith & Green, established that Centerplate’s prices were about 10 percent cheaper, the district wrote in its audit response. The equipment was part of a 2005 expansion, and Centerplate had worked up schematic plans for the food, beverage, catering and concession operations.
“There was no favoritism, collusion, fraud or any such circumstance involved in this acquisition,” the district wrote in response to the audit finding.
Monday’s high of 97 falls short of record
Monday was hot, but not hot enough to break the 1924 record of 99 degrees, officials said.
The high was 97 at Spokane International Airport, said Jonathan Fox, a National Weather Service official.
If you despise the heat, today should feel slightly better, officials said. The forecast high is in the upper 80s, almost 10 degrees cooler.
However, it will be more humid with a pretty good chance of thunderstorms expected in the Inland Northwest throughout the day, Fox said. A hazardous weather warning has been issued because the storms could include high winds, blowing dust and lightning.
The sun should return on Wednesday with a high of 90 in Spokane and 89 in Coeur d’Alene. The low should get down to about 62.
On Thursday, the chance of rain and thunderstorms returns with a high of about 94 in Spokane and 92 in Coeur d’Alene.
Hoopfest weekend DUI arrests down
Despite three DUI incidents by about 7 a.m. Friday, the traffic report for the weekend was quiet, Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Baker said.
“It was a quiet Hoopfest weekend. We had very few alcohol-related incidents,” Baker said. “It looks like it was a safe, enjoyable weekend for everybody involved.”
Several law enforcement agencies combined this weekend for a DUI emphasis patrol that netted only 22 DUI contacts. That compares to 49 in 2007 and 30 in 2006, Baker said.
‘Honoring Gabe’ team won two, lost two
The Hoopfest team that played in honor of an 11-year-old friend and teammate who died in April won two games and lost two over the weekend.
Team Doran was named in honor of Gabe Doran, a Wilson Elementary School fifth-grader who died of complications from epilepsy. Doran, who played with the Breakers select soccer club, planned to play with his buddies in the three-on-three basketball tournament.
The team, which wore jerseys that said “Honoring Gabe,” lost its game Sunday morning after winning two games and losing one on Saturday.