Jun 29, 2021 - News
Polk County backs off Crow Tow contract bid
A Crow Tow truck in a Subway parking lot off Ingersoll Ave in Des Moines, Iowa.
A Crow Tow truck in a Subway parking lot off Ingersoll Ave. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Polk County officials are no longer recommending Crow Tow as the area's sole towing provider based on "overwhelming negative comments," according to the county's procurement office.

The intrigue: Polk County's towing contract is set to expire Wednesday, and the procurement office initially recommended Crow Tow to the county's Board of Supervisors based on their low bid.

  • But the company has faced backlash from the public, including officials themselves, as we reported last week.

Driving the news: The Board of Supervisors now plans to vote on awarding a three-year contract to G & S Towing Service during their meeting Tuesday.

What they're saying: The procurement and sheriff's offices rescinded their recommendation last Friday after determining Crow Tow was a "non-responsible" bidder, said Ryan Ward, procurement office supervisor.

  • The number of complaints, the BBB score of "F" and an online petition were part of the public information used to deem Crow Tow "non-responsible," Ward said.
  • Of note: Ward previously told us the procurement office doesn't consider public complaints or opinions in their recommendations.

The other side: Owner Randy Crow said county officials told him his company has historically provided "great service" and cited no past problems. That's reflected in the fact they initially recommended Crow Tow as the sole contractor, Crow said.

  • Crow said complaints revealed by Axios' open records request and the online petition were the reasons officials backed away from the award. But Crow said they admitted to not reading either item, which he believes is an oversight.
  • Ward said he's unaware of documents from a records request.

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