Bidding on State Property, can they tell me I can't?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by punk_rockin2001, May 2, 2007.

  1. punk_rockin2001

    punk_rockin2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I went to the local school district building today to request information on what the lawn care company was paid per school last year. Getting the info was not a problem, but they kept telling me that the schools could not be bid on. I asked if it was because the contract they currently had was for multiple years, and they said no. I was told "We aren't bidding it out for next year" a few years ago from the guy that was in charge, and at the time just walked away. Since then I have talked to several people that have worked for state institutions and that have been on the school board, and they have all said it is illegal for them NOT to bid it out. Does anyone have any experience with this?
  2. fargoboy

    fargoboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    each state has different rules and regulations regarding bidding practices in their states. There are even conflicts that exist between how school districts bid something and how the local township does something. There is a difference between professional services and a box of pens. As to your particular situation, the original bid specification might state that as long as both parties agree(the contractor and the school district)the contract can be automatically be renewed every thirty days after the expiration of the original bid as long as everything remains the same. In other words, if the contractor is happy with getting the same amount of money as three years ago, he will continue to do the work there. The ideal situation to get is a contract that states this automatic renewal with an automatic price increase based upon the consumer price index.
    Also, some state laws say that it only pertains to certain things over a specific dollar amount. For example, PA requires that anything over $10,000.00 requires a bid. Anything under that amount is at the whim of the government agency. Some agency bid everything as a general policy and some agencies reward their favorite people with these little perks. Look to the dealings of your vice president Dick Cheny for good examples of how this works
  3. punk_rockin2001

    punk_rockin2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    Thanks for the info. I'm going to talk to some more people and find out what the districts policies are. I get the prices on Friday and I'm very interested to see what this guy is charging. He's been doing it for several years, and in my opinion does a pretty crappy job. Oh well, thanks again.
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    WHAT does it matter what the present guy is charging ??? I mean .. what does this do ... his price is now your price ...just a little lower??

    Charge what you must get to make $$

    N yes ... fore the most part they can tell you NO ... I have State work ....had County work n Fed

    Many require a mandatory bid meeting (if you missed that you can't even submit) ... are you bonded?? do you have a complete equip list with proof of replacement insurance, Works Comp, Reference list (not of resi's ...Commercial references ...n not a gas station unless it's like a National chain)

    Get these things in order ... THAN Insist on a bid opportunity

    Good Luck with that

    Also ... do a search on line ...fine your local county or city web site n look in the "vendor" area ...many of these type of jobs (bidding side of it) are handle by a second hand company such as Demand Star
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Man O Man...........Watch the news sometimes,

    havent you ever herd of Kickbacks, most of the time you will see a Cousion or an Uncle with these Contracts..... then after about 10 years someone does a check and there's 5.7 Million missing, Come to find out that's what they paid for lawn service
  6. Let-it-mow!

    Let-it-mow! LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    Rules vary from state to state.

    I only know how it works in NJ:

    As long as the price is under the "bid threshold" of $17,500 per year ($25,000 if the district has a QPA (qualified purchasing Agent). they dont' have to bid it out. however, if it's more than $2,625 (3750 w/ QPA) they still need to get at least two quotes. But it doesn't require a formal bid

    A contract can be signed for up to 3 years before "re-biddiing" as long as the vendor (that's you) doesn't increase his price each year more than the "index rate" which is set each year. The index rate is always right around 5% each year.

    The problem you have is that even if you can force them to bid this, you can only get the job if you charge less than the guy who can't afford to do a good job.
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Actually in my county Brevard in the State of FL really has nothing too do with "kick backs" or "who you know" or even believe it or not ..."lowest price"

    We are graded .... price is there n is bout 30% of it .... all the legal paper work .... references ... equip list are the rest

    In fact a city median strip local too me .... 4.5 miles ... the win bid fore the year was $167K the lowest was like $100k n ya the county had a suggested what they thought it was worth was like $125k ... true this will n does vary from bid to bid ..... state to state ....but the thing to get is that lowest price is not always it

    I had a state family children complex which I bid high the time ...did not really want it ... I got the award n had that fore 7 years ....before the state moved n sold the complex .... I miss that job ...was bout 300 hrs of yearly labor hitting just under $13k per year
  8. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    dont forget they can reject your bid for the littlest reason they can find!
  9. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    This is very true .... one of the bidder's ...very qualified LCO ....had failed to provided proof of insurance n was not selected ....n I know fore a fact he has it ...just a little paper error the time he got that info into the county the bid date was closed
  10. Let-it-mow!

    Let-it-mow! LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    If you screw up any of the paperwork that was listed in the bid solicitation, then you can be disqualified. That means forget to include insurance paperwork, business license, references, etc.

    But, in NJ, if you have your paperwork right, it's very difficult to disqualify a bidder. If you do throw out the lowest bid, you'll probably be sued and loose.

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