Earlier this year, the state enacted legislation that would raise
the minimum amount a town had to spend on a project before going out to bid
from $7,500 to $25,000.
Ellington’s finance director, Nicholas J. DiCorleto,
was actually the one who initially pushed for the change, having approached
state Sen. Gary LeBeau about the idea, explained First Selectman Maurice Blanchette.
Now, Ellington is looking to change its
competitive bidding ordinance to mirror that of the state’s new law.
Following a brief public hearing on Tuesday which drew virtually no comment from the public, the Board of Selectmen approved a draft of the
new ordinance Tuesday. The next step will be a vote on Oct. 21 whether to enact
the new ordinance.
The way the bidding process normally works is the town publicizes the need for a specific job or project, businesses apply by submitting a detailed bid and credentials, and the Board of Selectmen, with the assistance of the town attorney and finance director, review the bids before selecting an applicant.
With the ordinance change, the town wouldn't have to go through all of that unless the project exceed $25,000.
"Anything up to and including $25,000 doesn’t necessarily have to be bid," Blanchette explained. "And anything over that either has to be bid in a formal way or bids may be waived by the Board of Selectmen in the interest of the town."
Blanchette said the change in cost has to do with inflation, as the minimum bidding $7,500 amount has not changed in 20 years. Since the state has changed the law, the town can just do an ordinance change rather than go through the much costlier and lengthier charger change, Blanchette explained.
Bidding alone is actually a costly procedure, as it can total a few thousand dollars just to bid on certain projects, he said.