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City Commission Postpones Vote to Bypass Process for Projects

The City Commission postponed a vote last night that would let them bypass the bidding process for city projects.

It’s supposed to work like this: a design firm creates plans, then the city gets bids from contractors with estimates on what it would cost to build. The lowest estimate wins the project.

The proposed change would give the city the option to pick a contractor from the outset or pick and choose the parts they send out for bids.

Commissioner Mike Amyx came out against the ordinance because he steps down in January. He says he doesn’t want to set policy for future commissioners.

Other commissioners say this new ordinance wouldn’t force a single way they have to complete projects, but gives them options when choosing a method.

“I think really what we’re looking at is just looking at some alternative approaches as options. It certainly wouldn’t be a complete paradigm shift but just an extension of options available,” said City Commissioner Matthew Herbert.

The postponement means it’s not clear how this will impact picking a contractor for the Lawrence Police Department’s new headquarters.