Delta City Council is weighing a policy that would provide some type of "edge" to local businesses without undermining the competitive bid process.
A proposal from the Community Revitalization Partnership (CRP) was deemed to be worthy of consideration, with modifications.
A local purchase preference policy is seen as a way to support local businesses and local employees. "If the money is kept local, it is recirculated throughout the community," said Gynee Thomassen, chairman of the CRP's economic restructuring subcommittee. "If you go out of the county or the state to make a purchase, the money goes out of the county or the state."
Thomassen and city development director Glen Black researched similar policies which are in effect at the county level and in the communities of Montrose, Olathe, Glenwood Springs, Greeley and Longmont.
They came up with a bid preference of 8 percent, not to exceed $100,000. As an example, they used a vehicle priced at $26,500 from an out-of-town dealer, compared to a bid of $28,600 from a local dealership. The apparent low bidder is the out-of-town dealer, but when the 8 percent is factored in ($2,120), the out-of-town bid is $28,620, $200 more than the local bid.
They then applied the formula to a "big ticket" capital expenditure so council members could see how the $100,000 cap would come into play.
Both examples caused council members to balk, first at the percentage and then at the $100,000 cap. Councilmember Robert Jurca said he would find it difficult to justify spending an extra $90,000 or $95,000 of the taxpayers' money, even if that money stayed in town. He also didn't want to be "handcuffed" to the 8 percent differential. Mayor Mary Cooper said she was also uncomfortable with that amount, and would prefer 4 to 5 percent. Councilmembers Bill Raley, Guy Pfalzgraff and Ed Sisson said they would consider a local purchase preference policy if the council's concerns were addressed.
Thomassen and her committee planned to meet to consider lowering both the percentage and the cap. The revised concept will be presented at a future council meeting.blog comments powered by Disqus