MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County Commissioners approved documented purchasing policy guidelines that include a local vendor preference. The board agreed Tuesday that any local vendor within 7 percent of the lowest bid has five working days to match.
The way the local bidder preference portion reads all county purchases with an estimated cost at $100,000 or lower fall under the policy. The board amended the handbook draft’s sliding scale ranging from 3 to 7 percent depending on estimated total cost, settling instead at a flat rate of 7 percent.
All things considered equal, the local business gets the nod per the new handbook.
“The dollar amount will not change,” Commissioner Henry Craig, District 4, said. “It's only that we will give greater opportunity to local bidders to participate.”
This policy defines a county bidder as one with either a current valid business license or a physical address within county lines, both for at least one year prior to the procurement award.
Studio Designs owner and local business advocate Travis Strickland said the City of Milledgeville operates the 7 percent mark in its local vendor preference as well.
“The vendors that are already bidding on jobs for the city are accustomed to that,” Strickland said. “This will be consistent across the board.”
According to Strickland, local vendors are reaping benefits from the county preference.
“There has already been one local job that normally would have gone to an out of town bidder that stayed here,” he said. “Thirty-three thousand dollars stayed here in our economy versus going to Statesboro.”
• Decision on stagnant tax sales properties coming soon
County Manager Ralph McMullen said numerous individuals have approached the county about the status of 54 regular foreclosure or judicial tax sale, also called “knocked off,” properties under the county’s control.
“We’ve had a number of inquiries concerning some individuals wanting to purchase these properties. Just about every week we get additional phone calls,” McMullen said.