Subject to the provisions of Charter Section 8.6, before the City Purchasing Agent shall make any purchase of or enter into any contract for supplies, materials, equipment or services, including construction contracts of value exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), he shall give ample opportunity for competitive bidding, conforming as closely to the following procedures, as conditions shall reasonably permit:
   (a)   Notice of Solicitation. Notices that bids are to be solicited, as well as any material conditions of the bidding, shall be mailed or delivered to not fewer than three suppliers. Where practicable, such notice shall set forth the specifications of the supplies, materials or equipment to be purchased; or, if such inclusions are not practicable, such notice shall state where detailed specifications may be obtained. In any event, a copy of such notice of solicitation shall be prominently posted in a designated public area of the City building not less than five working days before the close of bidding. The Purchasing Agent shall also maintain a current list of those suppliers desiring to receive such notices and shall make reasonable efforts to provide such suppliers with notices of bidding. Publication in an area newspaper of general circulation as a Class I legal advertisement in conformance with West Virginia Code 59-3-2 shall be deemed to be in conformance with this subsection.
   (b)   Competitive Advantage for Local Merchants. Purchases shall be made from and contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder; provided, that in determining the lowest bidder, a competitive advantage of two percent (2%) shall be afforded to the bidders with mercantile establishments situated within the City, such two percent (2%) competitive advantage to be deducted from the net total amount of each bid received from a City mercantile establishment.
   (c)   Individual Transactions: Evasion of Compliance. Individual contracts, purchases, or sales to the City or any board, commission, department, agency, or instrumentality thereof shall, in no event, be exempted from the provisions of this section; nor shall any purchase of or contract for supplies, materials, equipment or services of value in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) be made by means of separate purchases or contracts of an amount less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) so as to evade the requirements of competitive bidding prescribed by this section.
   (d)   Procedure Regulations; Discrimination. Subject to the express provisions of Charter Section 8.6 and subject further to the express provisions of this section, the Purchasing Agent is hereby authorized and directed to establish by written regulations, reasonable and uniform procedures for the solicitation, opening and awarding of bids, as well as provisions regarding liquidated damages. The Building Inspector shall have this same authority in regard to construction contracts. Contracts shall be made and purchases shall be awarded in every case without regard to the race, religion, political affiliation, sex or national origin of the bidder.
   (e)   City's Right to Judge and Reject. Whether or not expressly set forth in the notice of solicitation of bidding, the City shall be privileged and hereby reserves the right to reject all bids and further reserves the right at its sole discretion, to determine whether a bidder is responsible, based upon past performance and the best information available at the time of the awarding of the contract or purchase order.
   (f)   Prerequisites to Contract for General and Professional Services. In addition to any other requirements contained in this section, any individual, before being awarded a contract to provide services valued at ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, shall provide in a form and amount acceptable to the Purchasing Agent, the following: a certificate of comprehensive liability insurance, a certificate proving Worker's Compensation coverage, State and City (if required) business license, three references from past employers, a performance bond in the amount of the contract, and a bid bond in the amount of five percent (5%) of the contract.
   (g)   The above requirements shall apply to professional service contracts as hereinafter defined, but in the case of professional services, such services shall be obtained by solicitation of proposals. Professional services shall include attorneys, registered engineers/surveyors, computer programmers and others generally defined as professionals.
   (h)   Legal Counsel. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, nothing herein shall be construed to limit the authority of Council to retain legal counsel.
      (Ord. 2182. Passed 4-18-13.)