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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sept. 24, 2023

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City of Vancouver switches janitorial contractor

Pasco company will take over cleaning City Hall, 22 other sites

By , Columbian Business Editor

A new janitorial service will be cleaning Vancouver City Hall and other city-owned or occupied buildings starting in February.

The City Council on Monday authorized City Manager Eric Holmes to award a five-year contract to Del Sol Inc. of Pasco. The city will pay the company up to $7.5 million over the span, with an anticipated $1.1 million the first year.

Del Sol emerged as the preferred contractor following a bid process that included the previous contractor, ABM On-Site Services West Inc., Brian Carlson, city public works director, told the council at its meeting Monday. Four other companies also submitted bids in November.

ABM had a three-year contract with the city since Oct. 1, 2015, with an up to two-year extension opportunity. Officials with the local ABM office, part of a New York-based publicly traded corporation with about $6.4 billion in annual sales, told Vancouver officials earlier this year they would not renew the contract because of a significant increase in their internal cost structure.

The contract and Washington law require the vendor to pay the state’s prevailing wages, which Carlson said is $21.12 an hour. The amount can be tallied as pay only or pay plus benefits, Carlson said.

Two janitors employed by ABM appeared at the council meeting, urging members to reject the Del Sol contract. The janitors, wearing T-shirts with the logo of the Service Employees International Union, said ABM, a union contractor, provided health insurance. Del Sol did not provide health insurance, one union member said.

Priscilla Martinez, who Carlson identified as Del Sol’s owner, attended Monday’s meeting but did not speak. Del Sol does not employ union workers. Seventeen Del Sol employees will clean the city property, according to Del Sol’s bid proposal.

Del Sol was founded in 1990 and serves clients in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

The janitorial contractor will be expected to regularly clean 22 facility locations with on-call duties as well.

“The contract also proposes to increase the existing service levels at several facilities back to levels that existed before the Great Recession,” a city memo says, adding that the Pearson Field pilot lounge and a portion of the Vancouver Navigation Center would be added to the cleaning list.

Columbian Business Editor