To the Advertiser-Gleam:

Everyone knows that "public works projects" are things done for public need, such as buildings, roads, paving of roads, etc, paid for with public funds, and done for the public good, don't they?

For example, here in our county and cities, each year bids are taken, by the governing bodies, on supplies the employees might use during the year to keep things running to serve the public. Examples are concrete for repairing curbs, riprap to keep banks from washing, asphalt to patch holes in the roads and streets. All these examples are supplies, but are not "public works projects."

Public works projects fall under a different statute as far competitive bidding that is designed to protect the public against collusive contracts and prevent favoritism toward certain contractors. The statute says that any "public works project" over $50,000 shall be competitively bid by advertising for bids in a local paper 3 times, for county, 1 time for municipality (county has many more miles of road) any public works under $50,000 does not have to be bid, but a project may not be split up in order to get under the $50,000

Now, "hot bituminous pavement, complete in place" is paving (I've seen it listed in supplies). In my mind, paving is a public works project and falls under the public works statute 39-2-2 (Al Code and I ask you to look in the legals of the paper or "Alabama legals" and see if you find where our officials are complying with the "public works law" except for grants).

Now, do you think it is possible for a contractor to be awarded the bid for "supplies" in the county and the municipalities and therefore receive millions of dollars of paving contracts (public works) without competitively bidding for them?

Joel Kennamer


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