New bid law to mean more local business
By Sheryl Marsh
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2437
An Alabama law that awaits the governor's signature would give more local contractors a chance to do business with counties.
The current bid law allows governments to award a contract to a local bidder who submits a bid that's 3 percent more than the lowest bid. That will change to 5 percent.
In addition, the law will remove a mandatory requirement for contractors to provide a bid bond. The law will allow counties to make purchases or enter contracts with second-lowest bidders if the lowest bidder does not comply with or meet specifications of contracts.
Morgan County officials are pleased the legislation passed the House and Senate.
County Commission Chairman John Glasscock said deleting the bond requirement should attract more bidders.
"If it's not a public works project, usually the bid bond is $100. That requirement costs bidders time and effort, and probably prevents some from bidding," said Glasscock. "I think the whole law is good."
District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark said he's glad the bid bond requirement is removed and the preference for local bidders increased.
He said he favors being able to choose the second-lowest bidder without rebidding.
Clark said the county had a situation years ago where the contractor who got a job didn't perform the duties by the terms of the contract.
"If this had been in place, we could have gone to the next lowest bidder," Clark said.
District 4 Commissioner Stacy George, believes the change will add to the local economy because it will enable officials to do more business locally.
District 3 Commissioner Kevin Murphy said the law would work if officials throughout the state don't misuse it. "Probably in the long run it may save us from having to re-bid so much," said Murphy.
"I like accepting the second low bid because we don't have to re-bid," said District 2 Commissioner Ken Livingston. "I think that will help us. As for the bond, I never understood the purpose of that anyway. I think that keeps a lot of people from bidding."
Bidding is a large part of commission business. Multiple items dealing with bidding for services or equipment are usually on meeting agendas.
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