Council Recap: New streamlined process to reduce costs

Published on January 26, 2022

Council Recap monument sign

At their Tuesday evening meeting, the Lakewood City Council approved an ordinance that will reduce the administrative costs involved in carrying out public works projects in Lakewood, such as the painting of buildings, the installation of new electrical systems and air conditioning, and other improvements.

Traditionally, public works projects above $5,000 require a number of detailed administrative steps and an extensive bidding process that can lead some smaller jobs to double in cost just to cover the time and effort required in the bidding process. The awarding of projects can take 3-6 months, even for small jobs. In some cases, the city is unable to find contractors to bid on small projects at a reasonable cost because of the administrative time and overhead a contractor will bear.

The new Lakewood policy will allow projects of up to $200,000 to be awarded from a list of pre-approved contractors who submit their qualifications and are approved in advance by the city. Also, smaller projects of up to $60,000 can now be carried out by city staff. 

The new policy also removes the requirement that every project include an engineer’s or architect’s estimate. That step, which often costs $3,000 or more, can lead to simple projects, such as the installation of a window air conditioner, costing more to create plans than the unit and its labor will actually cost. An engineer’s or architect’s estimate will still be required for more complex projects. The new policy is in line with state law under the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act.

“This new policy will bring valuable efficiencies to our public works process,” said City Manager Thaddeus McCormack. “It’s especially timely when Lakewood is about to undertake a large number of park and community building renovations, thanks to our residents passing Measure L. The new policy will help us be good stewards of those precious Measure L tax dollars for the benefit of our community.”



Tagged as: