Local contractors must earn Fraser Rec District jobs like everyone else
To the Editor:
I am writing in reference to the recent letter, “Help economy: Award rec district contracts locally.”
As a taxpayer, local subcontractor and long-time rec center proponent, I don’t agree with the sentiment that locals are “owed” the contracts. I am confident that the Recreation District will conduct a fair bidding process and I would be very happy if qualified local contractors and subs win the business.
But to suggest that the district should award those contracts strictly on the basis of where a business hails from smacks of the protectionist mentality that eventually causes businesses to give up being competitive, economies to slow and, in this case, taxpayers to get something other than the quality project they are paying for.
The whole issue of what is “local” is not nearly as cut and dried as the writer suggests: My company has worked as a sub for so called “outside” general contractors just as often as we have worked alongside so called “outside” subs working for local generals. It is simply not the case that you are all one way or the other and therefore local or not.
It is also rather naive to suggest that 100 percent of the money paid to local businesses stays local while outside contractors would refrain from spending any of their hard earned cash in our valley.
There are plenty of contractors from Grand County who do high quality work at a competitive price. There are also plenty of reasons why both outside and local generals often hire local contractors, including a proven track record, knowledge of local construction conditions (including how to build in January), and most importantly, because local contractors have to live with the legacy of their work and its long-term impact on their reputation.
But, as a local contractor, I want to earn that job in a competitive market, not have it handed to me. If everyone gets their fair shot and my company doesn’t get to work on the recreation center, I can live with the fact that taxpayers are getting the best project possible for the money.
Pole Creek Fabrication
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