City bidding changes

Waterwalk Place - KSN File Photo

WICHITA, Kansas – The City of Wichita is putting together a new resolution, that allows for new bidding procedures for construction projects. The new resolution would make “competitive bidding” a mandate.

Some say it’s about time.

“It’s important to have all these bids, any bid that relates to the public and public funds, to be open,” says Susan Estes with the group, Americans For Prosperity.

Estes says Wichita should have a written policy, to keep the bidding process honest.

KSN asked city leaders why “private” bidding has been allowed.

“Well, it’s not been private, so to speak, for the last couple of years that I’ve been in office,” says Wichita City Council Member Pete Meitzner. “But we are putting it in writing that free-standing construction work funded with [entirely] City funds, will be subjected to competitive bidding.”

Meitzner says he wants to see a non-biased 3rd party take a look at city construction contracts that will remain private.

“Some of them will remain private,” explains Metizner. “If there is a public-private construction contract, then we want to allow the private contractor to be able to do what they need to do for their project. We want contractors to know, Wichita is open for business. We are growing.”

The Resolution being drafted adds, “…that general contractors shall be required to select sub contractors through a competitive procurement process agreeable to the City.”

“That would allow for and is where that third party expert would come in and verify construction estimates and bids are reasonable to the market conditions,” explains Meitzner.

City leaders say the new resolution will be finalized, and could be put up for a vote in two or three weeks.

“It’s the right thing to do,” says Estes. “After all… You always want transparency. You can never go wrong. You benefit from a higher standard.”

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