WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County commissioners on Tuesday raised its bid cap to $15,000 -- a $10,000 increase from the county's previous $5,000 minimum.
According to Commissioner Steve Andes, the change brings Putnam County in line with neighboring counties, including Kanawha, Cabell and Mason. County employees will now be allowed to contract projects estimated to cost less than $15,000 without advertising them through the normal bid process.
"Smaller projects, we have to get bids on them, and it takes that much longer. If we're dealing with a reputable company, we can go right to them and take care of it," Andes said. "The $5,000 cap has been there for a long time, and the prices for work have gone up. The price for parts has increased."
County Manager Brian Donat said the new bid cap applies to the county commission or any county office, and could include anything from computer systems to small-scale equipment purchases.
"You don't have to bid out items that are on the state contract, so that has helped us a lot," he said. "Cruisers and those sorts of things we don't bid out separately because we buy them on state contract."
County officials have spent time and effort on bidding out smaller projects, and Donat hopes the increased bid cap will eliminate unnecessary processes and help departments.
"I think it brings us in line with what other entities have already done, and I think the bid limit of $5,000 had been that way for many years," Donat said. "If you have it too low, you end up spending a lot of time and effort and money bidding things out that don't necessitate that formal a process.
"Even if we don't do a formal advertisement for a bid, we still want to do the best we can -- we will want to get multiple prices. This saves us from doing so many advertisements in the newspaper and those other bid processes for something in that middle range, when a department head can get quotes from people verbally."