With last year’s passage of House Bill 857 in the North Carolina General Assembly, public contracting agencies in the Tar Heel State have no shortage of project delivery methods from which to choose. From design-bid-build to construction management at-risk, design-build, design-build bridging and P3s, our state statutes now authorize a veritable cornucopia of options for procuring public construction contracts.
But the following tweet from ENR’s Tom Sawyer earlier this week got me wondering: is the state overlooking another viable procurement option?
A bill was introduced in the North Carolina Senate yesterday that would give “local” bidders on public construction projects an advantage over “non-local” bidders. A copy of Senate Bill 232 can be found here.
SB 232 would give the lowest responsible, responsive “local bidder” the opportunity to match the bid of the lowest responsible, responsive “non-local” bidder, but only if the local low bid is no greater than five percent (5%) or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) of the bid of the “non-local” low bid. “Local bidder” would be defined as a bidder that has paid unemployment or income taxes in North Carolina and whose principal place of business is located within the boundaries of the county or municipality giving the preference. A “non-local bidder” would be any entity other than a “local bidder.” Continue reading
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I commend to your reading the current issue of NC Construction News, which includes this feature article on public-private partnerships (“PPPs” or “P3s”). As those who regularly follow this blog know, I’ve dedicated a fair amount of cyber-ink recently to the utilization of P3s in the construction of public facilities (particularly highways); after reading the linked article, my thinking on the subject has coalesced around this admittedly simplistic notion: P3s have enormous potential for good, for bad and for ugly, and it likely will be up to the General Assembly to determine which of those adjectives ultimately will apply to this unique project financing and delivery system.