Lee County, IA – Lee County established new competitive bidding guidelines earlier this month. The policy, though, is already being questioned.
The new policy is based on one already in place in Blackhawk County. The Board of Supervisors revised a few sections and approved it on Nov. 3.
The policy sets requirements for when to seek bids and how many are needed. Board Chairman Gary Folluo says the idea is to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.
The policy requires no bids for projects costing $1,000 or less while projects ranging from $1,001 to $9,999 should have at least three competitive bids. Projects could move forward if department heads can prove that less than three bids were available.
The second tier appears to be an issue for several departments.
Ernie Steffensmeier says some equipment needed for repairs can cost more than $1,000. He says it would be difficult to wait for the supervisors to accept a bid with equipment that is constantly used.
Sheriff Buck Jones and Maintenance Director Rick Carter also told the board, during the Nov. 10 workshop, that they are running into the same issues.
Folluo says the board will revisit the policy during its Nov. 17 meeting. The policy does not cover bridge, roads, building, and culvert projects.