SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio City Council approved and implemented the responsible bidders ordinance Thursday to give city officials more say when selecting contractors.
Low-bid projects, such as many street projects, have brought problems.
“Unfortunately, the city was put into kind of a corner with the rules that they had to hire again the same contractors that were doing bad work because of the low bidding process. You didn’t even have to necessarily have experience in the same type of work,” said Melissa Cabello Havrda, District 6 councilwoman.
Cabello Havrda said projects behind schedule, low-quality work and negative effects on businesses and residents are all potential street project issues. For that reason, she drafted the new ordinance.
The city’s hired contractors will now have to uphold a higher standard, or they may not be allowed to bid for city projects for three years.
“Are they doing good quality work? Are they on time? Are there any issues with the contractor? And they’ll get a score. If the score is below 70, then we can eliminate them,” said Rod Sanchez, assistant city manager.
The scoring is out of 100 and broken into percentages by section:
- 20% for meeting contract requirements
- 20% for staying on schedule
- 20% for the quality of the work
- 20% for responding in a timely fashion
- 10% for staying within budget
- 10% for finalizing or closing out the project
KSAT asked how many problem contractors the city currently has, according to the new ordinance.
“Now that this ordinance is in effect, it’ll start to really show up,” said Cabello Havrda said.
Sanchez said, “Probably the middle of this year, nine months into the year, we’ll start to see if there’s any issues with the contractors.”
No immediate action will be taken against contractors with current projects. With that being the case, District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo wants contractors to take note.
Bravo’s district has multiple construction projects, including the St. Mary’s Strip and Broadway projects underway.
“This is an opportunity to put pressure on them. If you don’t deliver on this project, don’t expect to get projects with the city of San Antonio going forward,” Bravo said.