Repeal of Charter Provision Requiring Bonds

What is the repeal of the Charter provision requiring bonds for contractors for public improvements question?

The question asks voters if the bond requirement for contractors performing any public improvement above $5,000 should be eliminated.

Why did Council vote to place before the voters?

The requirement for bonding for a contractor who receives a public project valued over $5,000 reduces the ability for smaller, qualified contractors to compete for projects; increases the cost of public projects because of lack of competition (thus increasing the cost to tax payers), and is dramatically out of place among other communities and their requirements.  City Council feels that the Charter provision concerning bonding should be set by ordinance in order to respond to changing technology and construction requirements of the City.

What are some of the expected benefits of repealing the Charter Provision on Contracting Public Improvements?

The benefits would be that the City would receive more bids on projects for public improvements from contractors who do not carry or obtain bonds, but are nonetheless qualified and would carry appropriate insurance.  It is estimated that by allowing more competition among qualified contractors, the City can save over $100,000 annually.  City Council will still be able to match bonding requirements to different projects as it deems necessary to protect the City and the public.  Finally, having a locked in number of $5,000 clearly does not match the level of projects that should warrant a bond and is out of date with today’s costs.

Why would someone be opposed to removing the bond requirement?

Some may be opposed to more competition or some may feel that the savings do not justify removing the extremely low threshold.

What is the actual ballot language?

GIVEN THAT PROVISIONS GOVERNING CONTRACTING AND BONDING PROCEDURES FOR CITY IMPROVMENTS ARE GOVERNED BY ORDINANCE IN A MANNER THAT IS MORE FLEXIBLE WITH CHANGING CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGIES, AND CURRENTLY SETS THE LIMITS FOR REQUIRING BONDS AT $50,000 RATHER THAN THE $5,000 REQUIRED BY CHARTER, SHALL ARTICLEVI, PART D, SECTION 5, OF THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF ALAMOSA, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

ANY CITY IMPROVEMENT IN EXCESS OF FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS SHALL BE EXECUTED BY CONTRACT, EXCEPT SUCH IMPROVEMENTS AS THE COUNCIL AUTHORIZES A DEPARTMENT TO MAKE, AND SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND AWARDED ON THE BASIS OF WHAT IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COUNCIL IS THE LOWEST AND BEST BID. THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A PERFORMANCE BOND. IF ALL BIDS ARE REJECTED, THEN THE COUNCIL MAY AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS TO PROCEED WITH THE CONSTRUCTION AS IN OTHER CASES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS, AND THE SERVICES OF THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE CHARGED AS A PART OF THE COSTS OF THE IMPROVEMENTS.

BE REPEALED?

What does a “YES” vote do?

A “Yes” vote deletes this Charter provision, and will allow the contractor bond requirement to be set by City Council so that the requirement can be tailored to the specific project and needed protection for the City.

What does a “NO” vote do?

A “No” vote would leave the existing $5,000 threshold in place and all contractors submitting bids for projects $5,000 and up would have to be bonded.