Tri States Public Radio Staff
Wed November 25, 2009
Lee County Discusses Bid Policy
Lee County, IA – The Lee County Board of Supervisors approved the policy several weeks ago. The panel based its document on a plan approved by the Blackhawk County Board of Supervisors, with a few changes.
The competitive bid policy establishes when bids or quotes are needed and how many to secure. Purchases under $1,000 are not affected.
Several department heads expressed concerns about waiting for bids for emergency repairs under $10,000. Sheriff Buck Jones, for example, says a light-bar for a squad car only comes from one company and costs several thousand dollars.
Supervisor Larry Kruse (R-District 1) says that should not be an issue because bids may be needed. He says they are not always required.
"On big projects," says Kruse, "you want to have the complete bid process. On smaller ones, you probably want to get more quotes but not go through the public hearings or the formal bid process."
Kruse says the idea behind the policy is to make sure the county is spending public tax dollars wisely. The state auditor's office has recommended the county develop a policy for several years.
One aspect of the policy will be changing. The board will increase the threshold for requiring public hearings and notices from $25,000 to $100,000.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors has agreed to move forward with architectural design work for the new centralized dispatch center. The facility was not included in the original design for the jail expansion and renovation.
Project Manager John Hanson says the work will cost around $7,500. The actual construction could cost around $80,000.
Lee County is still looking for the money to pay for the construction and design of the center.