Letter: Local contracting costs
It is interesting that the Rifle chamber (under pressure by a few of its contractor members) has endorsed higher prices for the proposed hospital project without actually taking a position for or against the proposal.
Local preference policies on public works projects chill the bidder pool by artificially disqualifying otherwise qualified bidders based solely on geography. The project and taxpayers benefit by the highest level of competition to produce the lowest responsible bids or prices for the project. Restricting bids based upon local politics will eliminate bidders and raise project costs.
In addition, these kinds of protective rules can prompt other municipalities to adopt their own protective rules, which discriminate accordingly against contractors who reside in districts with local preference polices — in other words getting a taste of your own medicine. So if Rifle enacts a local preference, would other municipalities react with their own rules protecting their so-called local contractors? Smart money says yes.
The best advice to local contractors is to sharpen your pencils and compete in the process.