Chapter 11.10
BIDDING ON PUBLIC PROJECTS

Sections:

11.10.010    Purpose – City subject to Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act.

11.10.020    Definitions.

11.10.030    Implementation by director – Delegation.

11.10.040    Public projects – Work and contracts.

11.10.050    Contractor list and construction trade journals.

11.10.060    Informal bidding procedures.

11.10.070    Formal bidding procedures.

11.10.080    Rejection of bids – Options – No bids.

11.10.090    Cost accounting.

11.10.100    Emergency procedure.

11.10.010 Purpose – City subject to Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for an alternative method for the bidding of public works projects, as authorized by Public Contract Code section 22000 and following.

The city council elects to become subject to the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act, the procedures set forth in the Act, and to the California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Commission’s policies and procedures.

All city departments are subject to this chapter. (Public Contract Code (PCC) §§ 22001 and 22030.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.1)

11.10.020 Definitions.

A. Commission means the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission established under Public Contract Code section 22010.

B. Director means the director of public works and community development.

C. Facility means a building, plant, structure, real property, street, highway or other public work improvement.

D. Formal bidding procedures means those procedures applicable to a public project of more than $100,000, as set forth in PHMC § 11.10.070.

E. Informal bidding procedures means those procedures applicable to a public project of $25,000 to $100,000, as set forth in PHMC § 11.10.060.

F. Public project means any of the following:

1. Construction, reconstruction, erection, alteration, renovation, improvement, demolition or repair work involving any publicly owned, leased, or operated facility; or

2. Painting or repainting of any publicly owned, leased or operated facility.

Public project does not include maintenance work. Maintenance work includes: (1) routine, recurring, and usual work for the preservation or protection of any publicly owned or operated facility for its intended purposes; (2) minor repainting; (3) resurfacing of streets and highways at less than one inch; or (4) landscape maintenance. (PCC § 22002.)

G. Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act or the Act means the Act set forth at Public Contract Code section 22000 and following, which provides an alternative method for the bidding of public works projects. (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.2)

11.10.030 Implementation by director – Delegation.

A. Implementation. The director is responsible for implementing this chapter. The director shall prepare written policies to implement this chapter.

B. Delegation. The city council delegates to the director or his or her designee the authority to:

1. Approve plans, specifications and working details for all public projects, under Public Contract Code section 22039; and

2. Award contracts for $25,000 or less, as long as the project is in the budget, the contract is approved as to form by the city attorney and the project is in accordance with this chapter. (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.3)

11.10.040 Public projects – Work and contracts.

A. Twenty-five thousand dollars or less. A public project of $25,000 or less may be performed by the employees of the city by force account, by negotiated contract or by purchase order. A contract or purchase order may be signed by the director and must be approved as to form by the city attorney. (See PHMC § 11.10.030.B.)

B. One hundred thousand dollars or less. A public project of between $25,000 and $100,000 may be let to contract by the informal bidding procedures set forth in PHMC § 11.10.060.

C. More than $100,000. A public project of more than $100,000 shall be let to contract by the formal bidding procedures set forth in PHMC § 11.10.070, except as otherwise provided in the Act or in this chapter.

D. No project splitting. It is unlawful to split or separate into smaller work orders or projects any project for the purpose of evading the provisions of this chapter. (PCC §§ 22032 and 22033.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.4)

11.10.050 Contractor list and construction trade journals.

A. Contractor list. The director shall maintain a list of qualified contractors eligible to submit bids on informal contracts awarded by the city. The contractors shall be identified according to categories of work. Minimum criteria for development and maintenance of the list of contractors shall be determined by the commission. A contractor wishing to be on the list must first submit a complete application on a form provided by the city. (PCC § 22034.)

B. Construction trade journals. The commission determines the appropriate construction trade journals (including builders’ exchanges) which shall receive notice of all informal and formal construction contracts being bid for work within Contra Costa County. (PCC §§ 22034, 22036 and 22037.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.5)

11.10.060 Informal bidding procedures.

A public project of between $25,000 and $100,000 may be let to contract by the informal bidding procedures in this section.

A. Notice inviting bids. The director shall mail a notice inviting informal bids to all contractors on the list for the category of work being bid or all construction trade journals specified by the commission, or both. However, the notice shall be sent only to the construction trade journals if:

1. The product or service is proprietary in nature such that it can only be obtained from a certain contractor or contractors; or

2. There is no list of qualified contractors maintained by the city for the particular category of work to be performed.

The city, in its discretion, may notify additional contractors, construction trade journals, or builders’ exchanges.

The notice shall be mailed not less than 10 calendar days before bids are due. The notice shall describe the project in general terms and how to obtain more detailed information about the project, and state the time and place for the submission of bids.

B. Opening of bids and award of contract. At the time provided in the notice, all bids timely received shall be opened. Unless all bids are rejected, the contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.

The city manager is authorized to award contracts up to $100,000 as long as the project is in the budget and the contract is approved as to form by the city attorney. The city manager may approve a project in an emergency situation when funds are available and the contract is approved as to form by the city attorney. (See also PHMC § 11.10.100, Emergency procedure.) If a project between $25,000 and $100,000 is not in the budget and is not an emergency, the contract is awarded only by the city council.

If all bids received are greater than $100,000, the city council may award the contract at $110,000 or less to the lowest responsible bidder, if it determines the cost estimate of the public agency was reasonable. The council must act by passing a resolution, with a four-fifths vote. If the bids are greater than $110,000, the project must be rebid under the formal bidding procedures below. (PCC § 22034.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.6)

11.10.070 Formal bidding procedures.

A. General. A public project of more than $100,000 shall be let to contract by the formal bidding procedures.

B. Notice. The notice shall state the time and place for receiving and opening sealed bids and distinctly describe the project. The notice shall be:

1. Published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city at least 14 calendar days before the bid opening date; and

2. Mailed to all construction trade journals identified under PHMC § 11.10.050 at least 30 calendar days before the bid opening date.

The city may give any other notice it deems proper. (PCC § 22037.)

C. Opening of bids and award of contract. At the time provided in the notice, all bids timely received shall be opened. Unless all bids are rejected, the contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. The contract is awarded by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.7)

11.10.080 Rejection of bids – Options – No bids.

A. Rejection of bids. In its discretion, the city may reject any bids presented. If all bids are rejected after the first invitation of bids, the city may re-evaluate its cost estimates of the project and either:

1. Abandon the project;

2. Re-advertise for bids; or

3. Have the project done by force account without further complying with this chapter. In electing this option, the city council shall first adopt a resolution by a four-fifths vote, declaring that the project can be performed more economically by the employees of the city.

B. Options. If a contract is awarded, it shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. If two or more bids are the same and the lowest, the city may accept the one it chooses.

C. No bids received. If no bids are received through the formal or informal procedure, the project may be performed by negotiated contract or by the employees of the city by force account, without further complying with this chapter. (PCC § 22038.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.8)

11.10.090 Cost accounting.

Whenever the city elects to have its own forces perform work on any public project, the city shall follow cost accounting procedures established by the commission.

The commission may review the city’s accounting procedures whenever it receives evidence that work:

A. Is to be performed by the city forces after rejection of all bids, claiming work can be done less expensively by the city;

B. Exceeds the force account limits;

C. Has been improperly classified as maintenance work. (PCC §§ 22017, 22019 and 22042.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.9)

11.10.100 Emergency procedure.

In case of emergency when repair or replacements are necessary, the city may proceed at once to replace or repair any public facility without adopting plans, specifications, strain sheets, or working details, or giving notice for bids to let contracts. The work may be done by day labor under the direction of the director, by contractor, or by a combination of the two. In any such emergency, if notice for bids will not be given, the city shall comply with the procedures in Public Contract Code section 22050 (Emergency Contracting Procedures). These procedures require, before any emergency action is taken, that the city council authorize the action by a four-fifths vote and make a finding based on substantial evidence that: (A) the emergency will not permit a delay resulting from the competitive solicitation for bids, and (B) the action is necessary to respond to the emergency. The council must also review the action at every regular meeting until the action is terminated. (PCC §§ 22035, 22050.) (Ord. 770 § 1, 2003; 1991 code § 2-56.10)