Grand County should be aware that local preference policies cut both ways |

Grand County should be aware that local preference policies cut both ways

To the Editor:

I am a contractor based in Denver that does work throughout the state of Colorado and parts of Wyoming. In response to the Acord Paving and New West Paving articles in the paper, my company looks for an even playing field when it comes to the bidding process.

Unfortunately, a few governmental agencies have local preference in their bidding rules, which is their legal right in most cases.

My company disagrees with a public policy that would add costs to a public owner for contract work with all other things being equal.

However, such as in the case with the state of Wyoming, there is a 5 percent bidding preference against the out-of-state contractors bidding Wyoming work. In deference to the Wyoming policy, the state of Colorado assesses the same bidding preference against a Wyoming contractor.

Many other public owners have like policies against local preferential bidding rules.

This can be a double edged sword for contractors that benefit from local bidding preferences.

I would suggest that Grand County revisit this policy as it can hinder the local contractors (by having a negative impact to their bids outside their locality) and, more importantly, the added costs of construction for the county as was the result of the commissioners’ action on the Acord contract.

Steven McWilliams

President, New Design Construction Company

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