City to prefer local bids?

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Bainbridge City Council took the first step Tuesday night to adopting an ordinance that would give preference to local merchants in the bid process for goods and services purchased by the City of Bainbridge.

At its June 18 meeting, the council will consider final adoption of an ordinance that would allow a local vendor to match the low bid, should that bid be within two percent of the lowest bid submitted. If the local vendor chooses not to match the lowest bid, the bid would then be awarded to the original low bidder.

In order to take advantage of the local preference, bidders would have to maintain an office or place of business in Decatur County, has at least two employees, and hold a current Occupational Tax Certificate issued by Bainbridge or Decatur County.

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Additionally, in order to take advantage of the preference, a local bidder cannot be delinquent on Bainbridge and Decatur County property taxes.

A public hearing will be scheduled for the next council meeting in two weeks and then the council will vote on final adoption of the ordinance.

In other business, City Manager Chris Hobby recommended to the council that the Welcome Center facility, at the intersection of Hwy. 27 and Dothan Road, be closed.

The facility currently houses the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau. The employees currently located at the Welcome Center will be relocated to the newly renovated Bainbridge City Hall in July.

“It doesn’t make financial sense to continue to operate in that building,” Hobby told the council. “Last year, we had 6,000 visitors come through the doors and it cost $72,000 to operate.”

At this point, Hobby has no future plans for the building, but indicated that the city would continue to maintain the landscape and not let the building fall into disrepair.