When must competitive bidding be followed?
In general, state law requires cities and villages to competitively bid “public construction,” the estimated cost of which exceeds $25,000. If the estimated cost exceeds $5,000 but is not greater than $25,000, the municipality must give a class I notice, under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 985, of the proposed construction before the contract is executed. Wis. Stat. §§ 61.54 (villages), 62.15 (cities).
State law is not the only source of bidding requirements. Bidding requirements may also be imposed by local ordinance or policy, and these authorities must be checked before moving forward with a project to ensure compliance. In addition, when a project involves state or federal funding, municipal officials should check for any competitive bidding requirements linked to that funding.
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