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City may raise sealed bidding rate to $10,000

City officials are considering changes to their method of buying goods and services, including a provision that would allow them to raise the dollar level at which they must seek competitive sealed bids.

Currently, purchases of $5,000 or more require competitive sealed bidding and City Council approval, a practice started more than 25 years ago. Under a new rule, which will be considered at a public hearing July 1, purchases of $10,000 or more would go through that process.

City officials say the change would improve staff productivity _ since the competitive sealed bidding process requires a lot of paperwork and time. They say there are plenty of purchases in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, but those amount to a small portion of money overall.

During fiscal year 1992, the city made 77 purchases between $5,000 and $10,000, totaling $563,400. Though time-consuming to process, that represented just 3 percent of the money the city spent that year.

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