More Privatization Needed in County and Public Works

January 17, 2017

The Arizona Chapter Associated General Contractors of America Inc. (AZAGC) is supporting legislation that requires counties and cities to hire private contractors. Private contractors are the most efficient and productive at performing work and will get the most out of taxpayer dollars. “We want the public to know that private industry can build and maintain their roads faster, cheaper, safer and with better quality than any governmental entity,” David M. Martin, President of the Arizona Chapter Associated General Contractors said.

Currently cities and counties are required to publically bid new construction if the project price-tag is larger than $216,000. This does not apply to maintenance work, and some cities and counties expand their interpretation of what work can be performed with government forces well beyond this threshold. In order to remedy the problem, AZAGC is supporting House Bill 2143 public contracts; procurement sponsored by Representative Vince Leach (R) Dist. 11. The bill would lower the current threshold for cities and counties to obtain bids for project work - whether construction, reconstruction or maintenance of streets, roads or bridges - from $216,000 to $25,000. “Dropping the dollar threshold will benefit taxpayers because it will result in cities and counties utilizing the most cost efficient contractors to perform the work. It also allows cities and counties to continue to perform small jobs, such as filling potholes. So it doesn’t eliminate them completely from the process. AZAGC applauds Representative Leach’s effort to save the taxpayer money while providing a more efficient and effective means of maintaining Arizona’s highways and streets”, Martin said.

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