Chapter 3.46


3.46.010    Purpose.

3.46.020    Definitions.

3.46.030    Administration.

3.46.040    Local vendors.

3.46.045    Taxes.

3.46.050    Formal bidding.

3.46.060    Architectural and engineering services – Other professional services.

3.46.070    Electronic data processing and telecommunications systems.

3.46.080    Competitive bidding procedures.

3.46.090    Exemptions to competitive bidding requirements.

3.46.100    Prohibited practices.

3.46.110    Authorization.

3.46.010 Purpose.

By adopting this chapter, the city council intends to ensure that the city conduct all purchasing and public works contracting activities in full compliance with Washington law and locally adopted procedures. The intent of this chapter is to provide maximum assurances to the public and to all contractors, consultants and vendors, that Port Townsend’s purchasing and contracting practices provide maximum fairness and value in the expenditure of public funds. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.020 Definitions.

Unless the context requires otherwise, the terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meaning:

“Adequate appropriation balance” means sufficient fund balance existing in the appropriation item against which the purchase order is to be charged.

“Bid” means an offer, submitted by a bidder to furnish supplies, materials, equipment and other property in conformity with the specifications, delivery terms and conditions, and other requirements included in the invitation for bids or otherwise required by the city.

“Bidding” means a procedure used to solicit quotations on price and delivery from various prospective suppliers of supplies, materials, equipment, and other city property.

“Capital equipment” means any equipment of the city having an initial value of $1,000 or more and an estimated useful life of three or more years.

“City manager” means the Port Townsend city manager or his/her duly appointed designee. The city manager is authorized to delegate any functions and responsibilities set forth in this chapter to administrative staff.

“Contractual services” means professional and nonprofessional service contracts including but not limited to engineering, animal control, janitorial and other contracts entered into for the accomplishments of a particular project or limited period of time.

“Emergency” means, for the purpose of enabling the city to suspend compliance with public bidding and purchasing policies and requirements, an event or set of circumstances which demands immediate action to preserve public health, protect life, protect public property, or to provide relief to the community overtaken by such occurrences.

“Life cycle cost” means the total cost of an item to the city over its estimated useful life, including cost of selection, acquisition, operation, maintenance, and where applicable, disposal, as far as these costs can reasonably be determined, minus the salvage value at the end of its estimated useful life.

“Local bidder” means a firm or individual who regularly maintains a place of business and transacts business in, or maintains an inventory of merchandise for sale in, and is licensed by the city of Port Townsend.

“Public property” means any item of real or personal property owned by the city.

“Public work” shall have the meaning set forth in RCW 39.04.010, as now adopted and hereafter amended.

“Purchase order” means an official document used in authorizing the encumbrance of city funds toward the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment and other property.

“Purchasing agent” means the city manager or city employee designated by the city manager to serve as a purchasing agent. For routine departmental purchases of supplies, in accordance with the city manager’s administrative policy, each department director may designate one or more departmental purchasing agent(s).

“Requisition” means a standard form providing detailed information as to quantity, description, estimated price, possible vendors, fund account, signature and other information necessary to make purchasing decisions.

“Responsible bidder” means a bidder who has proven by experience or information furnished to the satisfaction of the city manager that current financial resources, production or service facilities, service reputation and experience are adequate to make satisfactory delivery of supplies of acceptable quality, equipment, or contractual services on which he/she bids. A “responsible bidder” has not violated or attempted to violate any provisions of this chapter.

“Responsive bidder” means a bidder who has complied with all requirements contained in the invitation to bid, including the bid packet and specifications, and who has submitted all required documentation, information and bid bond by the deadline for acceptance of bids. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.030 Administration.

Under direction of the city manager, the purchasing system provided herein shall be administered in accordance with applicable state statutes, this chapter, and by other applicable laws. The city manager or designee(s) shall have the responsibility and accountability to purchase and dispose of city property as follows:

A. Administer and maintain the purchasing system according to the rules and regulations established or authorized by this chapter or other applicable ordinances and statutes.

B. Coordinate the negotiation, purchase and disposition of all city supplies, materials and equipment in consultation with department heads, division managers and other responsible city agents, and in conformance with Chapter 3.44 PTMC, Disposition of Surplus Property.

C. Seek to obtain as full and open competition as possible either by bidding or negotiation on all city purchases.

D. Keep departments informed of current developments in the field of purchasing, i.e., prices, market conditions, new products, etc.

E. Prescribe and maintain such administrative policies, procedures and forms as are reasonably necessary to the operation of Port Townsend’s purchasing system.

F. Coordinate the inspection of all city-purchased equipment to assure conformance with specifications.

G. See that bidders’ lists, vendors’ catalog files and other records needed for the efficient operation of the purchasing system are maintained.

H. Establish and maintain the property inventory and fixed asset systems of the city.

I. Determine with the appropriate department head the need for any routine preventive maintenance contracts on equipment items. Establish and maintain needed maintenance contracts.

J. Periodically prepare a comprehensive list of surplus, worn out or obsolete city-owned equipment and dispose of such property in accordance with Chapter 3.44 PTMC.

K. Promulgate such rules and policies as needed to implement this chapter. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.040 Local vendors.

Bids and price quotations shall be solicited from Port Townsend vendors whenever possible. However, pursuant to Washington law, the city may not favor local businesses in the award of contracts. Upon the city manager’s adoption of an appropriate administrative procedure, in accordance with RCW 39.30.040, local sales tax and other locally generated tax revenues may be considered in determining the lowest bid for the purchase of supplies, materials and equipment. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.045 Taxes.

For purposes of calculating limits in this chapter, sales tax is included in the amount to determine the sum. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.050 Formal bidding.

Formal bidding shall be used whenever a public works project exceeds the sum provided by state law, including RCW 35.23.352 including any amendments; provided, however, formal bidding shall not be required for alternative contracting processes as provided for in this section. Bid packets shall be prepared for all formal bids, and shall include an invitation to bid notice, instructions to bidders, general conditions, special bid conditions (if any), terms and conditions, and a bid proposal form indicating the type of response desired from a bidder.

A. For all public works which require formal public bidding, the city manager shall follow the requirements set forth in this chapter.

B. Purchases of Material or Equipment Between $7,500 and $15,000. Material or equipment, the cost of which is between $7,500 and $15,000, may be procured through telephone and/or written quotations or bids on forms prescribed by the city manager. Where possible, three quotations shall be sufficient to determine a competitive price for any such purchase except for items which, for a practical matter, can only be obtained from a single source. Said purchases shall be awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder.

C. Small Works Roster.

1. The city manager may establish a small works roster, in accordance with the requirements set forth in RCW 35.22.620 and adopted administrative policies and procedures, for contracts within the dollar amounts set forth in RCW 39.04.155 and as hereafter amended.

2. At least once each year, the city manager shall publish in the official newspaper a notice of existence of the small works roster, soliciting the names of contractors for inclusion in the roster. The published notice shall identify all small works projects approved in the adopted capital improvement program which are likely to be scheduled for bid awards off the small works roster during the next 12-month period. The application and opportunity of contractors to be added to the small works roster shall remain open continuously without regard to the date the notice is published.

3. The city manager shall adopt administrative procedures for securing telephone or written quotations from the contractors on the small works roster, to assure that a competitive price is established and to award contracts to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. The administrative procedures shall require that wherever possible, at least five contractors shall be invited to submit bids, and that once a contractor has been afforded an opportunity to submit a proposal, that contractor shall not be offered another opportunity until all other appropriate contractors have been afforded an opportunity to submit a proposal on a contract.

D. Limited Public Works Process. The city manager may utilize the limited small works process in accordance with the requirements set forth in RCW 39.04.155(3) and adopted administrative policies and procedures, for contracts within the dollar amounts set forth in RCW 39.04.155(3) and as hereafter amended. (Ord. 3106 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.060 Architectural and engineering services – Other professional services.

A. Architectural and Engineering Services. Contracts for architectural and engineering services require conformance with RCW 39.80.010 through 39.80.060. The statute requires advance publication of the requirement for professional services (RCW 39.80.030); evaluation of qualifications and performance data of firms (RCW 39.80.040); and negotiations with firms in accordance with adjudged qualifications (RCW 39.80.050).

B. Other Professional Services. The city manager shall take appropriate steps to ensure that the best possible professional services are procured at the most competitive price for the particular service and that such services are procured pursuant to the city manager’s administrative procedures. Former city employees are prohibited from rendering professional services on behalf of the city for a period of five years after terminating employment with the city, unless such services are approved by the city council.

C. Selection of Contractors Off the Small Works Roster. The selection of contractors off the small works roster shall be handled by city employees only. Non-employee consultants or contractors may select small works contractors only upon the prior consent of the city council, approved by resolution.

D. Legal Services Exempt. Legal services, contracts or retainer agreements for services rendered by outside legal counsel are exempt from this section. All contracts or retainer agreements for legal services shall be approved by the city manager, after consultation with the city attorney. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.070 Electronic data processing and telecommunications systems.

Due to the unique aspects of electronic data processing and telecommunication systems and the importance of these systems for the effective administration of local government, a unique acquisition system for these systems is appropriate. All purchases of overall electronic data processing and telecommunication systems, including equipment, software, and services, shall be made pursuant to the competitive negotiation process, rather than through competitive bidding, as authorized and described in RCW 39.04.270, as now adopted and hereafter amended. For the purchase of individual components (versus overall systems), standard purchasing policies for equipment, supplies and services shall apply. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.080 Competitive bidding procedures.

The city manager shall call for competitive bids where required.

A. Publication of Notice.

1. As provided in RCW 35.23.352(1), public works contracts shall be bid upon posting notice calling for sealed bids upon the work.

2. Such notice thereof shall be posted in a public place by the city clerk and by publication in the official newspaper of the city at least 13 days before the date fixed for opening the bids. The notice shall generally state the nature of the work to be done, that plans and specifications therefor shall then be on file in the city, and that bids be sealed and filed with the city within the time specified therein.

B. Rejection of Bids. The city manager may reject without cause all bids and may re-advertise for bids pursuant to the procedures herein described. If no responsive bids are received, the city manager, with approval of the city council, may negotiate the purchase with a vendor at the lowest cost possible to the city.

C. Performance Bonds. A performance bond or other security shall be required on all public works construction projects when required by RCW 39.08.010 as hereafter amended or RCW 39.04.155 as hereafter amended.

D. Bid Bonds.

1. The city manager shall require as a condition of bidding a bid bond or a cashier’s check in lieu thereof in the amount of five percent of the amount bid. Such bid bond shall be required on all formally bid public works construction projects.

2. When the contract is let, all bid bonds shall be returned to the bidders except that of the successful bidder which shall be retained until a contract is entered into and a bond to perform the work furnished as provided above. If the successful bidder fails to enter into the contract in accordance with the bid and furnish such bond within 10 days from the date at which the bidder is notified of bid award, the bid bond shall be forfeited.

E. Award of Bid. Except as otherwise provided herein, the city shall accept the bid of the lowest responsive, responsible bidder, and subject to supplemental bidder responsibility authorized in RCW 39.04.350, including any amendments which the city makes part of the bidding documents. “Responsible” includes criteria established in RCW 39.04.350, including any amendments.

F. Award to Other Than Low Bidder. When the bid award is not given to the lowest bidder, a full and complete statement of the reasons for placing the order elsewhere shall be prepared by the city manager and filed with the other papers relating to the transaction. (Ord. 3288 § 2, 2022; Ord. 3106 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.090 Exemptions to competitive bidding requirements.

A. Sole Source Purchases and Special Market Conditions. Purchases which by their nature are not adapted to competitive bidding, such as purchases of repairs and purchases of items which may, as a practical matter, only be purchased from a single source, shall not be subject to the competitive bidding requirements of this chapter. Purchases for materials, supplies, equipment or repairs which are made under special market conditions, e.g., where the item is offered to the city at a highly favorable price and will be sold before the city has the time to comply with formal bidding requirements, or where the city must act quickly or through a specific channel to take advantage of special circumstances to achieve a lower cost, shall not be subject to the competitive bidding requirements of this chapter. Where the city makes sole source purchases or special market condition purchases without formal bidding compliance, the city council shall pass a resolution, or the city manager shall prepare a statement in cases within the manager’s authority, reciting the situation and setting forth the reasons for invoking this section.

B. Auctions, Closeout and Bankruptcy Sales. If an authorized purchasing coordinator determines that supplies, material, or equipment can be purchased by any public auction, closeout sale, bankruptcy sale or other similar sale, and makes a finding that a purchase at any such auction or sale will be made at a cost below the market cost, the city manager may authorize said purchases.

C. Exchanges. The city may by agreement exchange supplies, materials or equipment with other public agencies.

D. Interlocal Agreements in Letting of Contracts for Commodities or Services. In accordance with RCW 35.77.020, 36.75.200, 39.34.080, and 47.24.050, the city manager may enter into joint purchase agreements with any and all other public agencies within the state for the purchase of any commodity or service as permitted by state law, where it is determined by the manager to be in the best interest of the city, without individual approval of the city council, and so long as the contract is consistent with the approved annual budget. Prior to commencing a bid process for significant purchases, the city manager shall make reasonable efforts to find opportunities for joint purchases with other public agencies in accordance with this section.

E. Emergency Purchases. Under emergency conditions as provided herein, the public bidding requirements are suspended. Publication notices may be waived for emergency purchases and other contracts as provided by law. However, where the conditions allow sufficient time, authorized employees shall demonstrate a reasonable effort to contact two or more vendors for price quotations, and/or to follow bidding procedures to the best extent possible under the circumstances.

1. Emergencies Occurring After Regular Business Hours. In the event that an emergency should arise after office hours, which emergency requires immediate action on the part of the city department involved for the protection of the best interests of the city, or should such a situation arise on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday and where it is not possible or convenient to reach the city manager, any necessary purchase shall be made by the city department for which the purchase is necessary. The purchase shall be reported to the city manager at the first of the next business day.

2. Other Emergencies. In the event of a natural disaster or manmade disaster or emergency, and where it is necessary to the health, safety or welfare of the community that immediate action and execution of a public work be undertaken, public bidding requirements shall be suspended during the pendency of the emergency condition.

3. City Council Action. Where public works projects are undertaken in emergency conditions, and without public bidding compliance, the city manager shall report the condition to the city council as soon as practicable. As soon as practicable, the city council shall pass a resolution declaring the emergency, reciting the facts constituting the emergency, and waiving the public bidding requirements.

F. Petty Cash.

1. Petty cash purchase shall not exceed $100.00 per project, except in emergencies. All requests for petty cash funds or reimbursement of petty expenditures shall be reconciled by a receipt or paid invoice along with a completed petty cash form.

2. Reimbursements and reconciliations of petty cash funds shall be made within 30 days of the transaction. No personal checks shall be cashed out of the petty cash fund.

3. Purchasing Cards. Purchasing cards may be used for purchases; provided, however purchasing cards shall not be used until the city manager adopts policies and procedures governing their use, in accordance with Washington law.

G. Real Property. Acquisition of real property is exempt from the competitive bidding requirements of this policy. Upon approval of the city council, the city manager may proceed to acquire real property through negotiation. The city council shall authorize all real property purchases. Negotiations to purchase real property shall be based upon an independent appraisal of the property. The city shall not pay more than fair market value for any real property without prior council approval. All property acquisition negotiations shall be conducted in accordance with the city’s property acquisition policies and procedures and shall comply with Chapter 8.26 RCW (the State Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Act, as amended). (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.100 Prohibited practices.

A. Collusion Among Bidders. Any agreement or collusion among bidders or prospective bidders to either buy or sell, in restraint of freedom of competition, be it agreement to bid a fixed price, or otherwise, shall render the bids of such bidders void. Such bidders may be subject to possible exclusion from future bidding with the city when determined by the city manager to be in the best interest of the city.

B. Disclosure of Formal Bid Contents. Any disclosure in advance of the opening bids, of any information contained in the sealed or formal bid, made or permitted by a city officer or employee may render each bid void either by the city or the parties submitting bids. Appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken against both the persons revealing the information and the persons using the information. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, all bids submitted by bidders taking advantage of any information revealed contrary to this section shall at once become null and void. The city manager shall adopt policies and procedures to ensure that all bids remain secure and confidential prior to bid opening.

C. Gratuities. With the exception of normal business and social courtesies, or donations publicly given and accepted, the acceptance of any gift or gratuity in the form of cash, merchandise or any other thing of significant value, as determined by the Attorney General’s opinion, by an official or employee of the city from any vendor or contractor, or prospective vendor or contractor, shall be prohibited.

D. Employee or City Official-Owned Businesses. In accordance with Chapter 42.23 RCW, Code of Ethics for Municipal Officers – Contract Interests, city goods or services shall not be obtained from businesses in which city officials, employees or their immediate family members have a majority ownership interest, or in any situation where the city official or employee shall be beneficially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract or transaction. This prohibition is subject to all exceptions pursuant to RCW 42.23.030.

E. Sale of Materials and Supplies. Except as provided by state law, including RCW 35.21.275, the city shall not use its purchasing power or lend its credit to acquire goods or services for any private party, nor shall the city sell its materials or supplies to the public except when said materials have been declared surplus and disposed of as provided in Chapter 3.44 PTMC. (Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).

3.46.110 Authorization.

A. Where the city council has not provided express approval to enter into and execute contracts, the city council authorizes the city manager, or manager’s designee, to enter into and execute on behalf of the city the following contracts without individual approval of each contract by the city council, so long as the contract is consistent with the approved annual budget for the city, and the city’s liability under the contract does not exceed the available fund balance:

1. Contracts for purchase of goods, supplies, materials, postage or equipment involving a cost or fee of less than $30,000. However, these types of contracts which specifically implement the annual budget may exceed $30,000; provided, that such contracts result directly from the aggregation of approved budgetary programs and services for the current year.

2. Professional services contracts, including contracts for architectural, engineering, legal, and consulting services involving a cost or fee of less than $10,000; provided, the city manager may execute contracts up to $25,000 if the contract is time-sensitive and delay in bringing the matter before council would cost the city time and money.

3. Maintenance contracts involving a cost or fee of less than $10,000 per year.

4. Public works projects involving a cost or fee of less than $35,000, involving multiple trades, and $20,000 involving a single trade; provided, the city manager may execute contracts up to $65,000 involving multiple trades and $20,000 involving a single trade if the contract is time-sensitive and delay in bringing the matter before council would cost the city time and money.

5. The city manager shall be authorized to approve change orders in a cumulative total amount not to exceed 10 percent of the contract award, including tax; provided, that the total cost remains within the budget authorization.

6. Lease agreements for materials, supplies, and equipment where the expenditure or fee does not exceed $10,000 per year; provided, the city manager may execute contracts up to $25,000 if the contract is time-sensitive and delay in bringing the matter before council would cost the city time and money.

7. Emergency contracts.

8. Agreements which are identified in a separate schedule as part of the approved budget.

9. Settlement agreements involving a cost or fee of less than $10,000 and that do not involve claims against an elected official, and agreements relating to employment and personnel matters involving a cost or fee of less than $10,000 (unless otherwise provided by statute or ordinance; for example, salaries and compensation are subject to city council approval). For example, the city manager, who has administrative authority over employees, may enter into disciplinary or severance agreements involving a cost or fee of less than $10,000.

10. Contracts which carry out or implement a provision of the Port Townsend Municipal Code or established city policy, for example, maintenance or performance bonds for plat improvements.

11. Contracts creating no financial liability on the part of the city that are for the sole purpose of becoming eligible to receive revenues.

12. Contracts that are for the sole purpose of housekeeping changes or clarifications to an existing contract where such changes do not alter any material term or condition.

B. All interlocal agreements shall be presented to the city council for prior approval except for interlocal agreements that create no direct liability or expense to the city, for example, interlocal purchasing agreements. (Ord. 3106 § 1 (Exh. B), 2014; Ord. 2715 § 2, 2000).