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Rainbow MWD increases threshold for formal bid process requirement

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Rainbow Municipal Water District has increased the threshold for which a formal bid process would be required for Rainbow contracts.

Rainbow’s board voted 5-0 Dec. 5 to amend the district’s Administrative Code to increase the threshold from $35,000 to $200,000. Rainbow staff will still be required to obtain three quotes for any project exceeding $5,000, and projects under $60,000 may be performed by the agency’s own workforce if that is deemed preferable to issuing a contract.

“We haven’t adjusted our bidding process procedures for six or seven years,” said Rainbow board president Hayden Hamilton.

Rainbow’s general manager may issue a sole source contract for projects under $5,000 or in the event of an emergency which would not allow for delays due to a request for quotes. If the expenditure is under $60,000, the project can be awarded by negotiated contract or purchase order if it is not deemed feasible for internal labor to perform the work or if a purchase over $5,000 is involved.

Rainbow’s Purchasing Department will determine whether to solicit quotations by telephone or by written request with telephone quotations generally used for lower dollar amounts for equipment and supplies when clear, open, and competitive specifications are included with the requisition and written requests preferred for high dollar amounts and especially for any contracted services.

Projects with a cost between $60,000 and $200,000 can be completed using an informal bidding procedure such as a bidders list or trade journals and exchanges. Informal bidding notification requires maintaining a list of qualified contractors according to categories of work and notifying them of bids, and notification of the bids to trade journals is also allowed.

“It really provides clarity in the bidding process,” Hamilton said.

The increased threshold for formal bids does not eliminate board oversight of the general manager’s authority to solicit informal bids. “He still has to come to the board to get approval of that contract,” Hamilton said. “Your checks and balances are still in place.”

All formally bid items must be submitted to and be approved by the general manager in concept before any formal action may be taken. A draft copy of the specifications for suppliers, services, or equipment will be submitted to the Purchasing Department along with any other pertinent information.

The bid package for items other than capital improvement projects will be prepared by the Purchasing Department and returned to the originating department for review. After the bid package has been reviewed, it will return to the Purchasing Department along with a list of desired prospective bidders if that is available.

When the final bid package is complete, the bid will be formally advertised and a notice will be sent to prospective bidders.


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