Mayor Henry supports Indiana-preference City Council ordinance

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Press release from the City:

Mayor Henry supports Indiana-preference Council ordinance
Companies on state’s list could receive preference for purchasing contracts, RFPs

Mayor Tom Henry announced his support today for the proposed City Council ordinance that could give Indiana companies preference for the City’s requests for proposal and commodities and supplies contracts.

The ordinance, which was introduced to Council Tuesday, will use the Indiana Department of Administration certification of an Indiana business. The state certification requires a substantial economic investment and presence in Indiana. Councilwoman Karen Goldner and Councilman Tom Didier are co-sponsors.

“The City of Fort Wayne needs to balance our efforts to keep tax dollars here in our community and making sure we serve our taxpayers by getting a competitive price for services and products we purchase,” Mayor Henry said. “This ordinance as drafted minimizes the administrative burden yet gives companies that pay taxes and invest in Fort Wayne or Indiana an edge over many of their out-of-state competitors.”

The preference ordinance applies to specific City purchases of goods and services by allowing the City to select a company or service provider from Indiana who may not have the lowest bid over an out-of-state competitor if the other state has a preference law. It applies to contracts of $25,000 or more.

For example, if an out-of-state company has a bid for $100,000 and a Fort Wayne company comes in between $100,001 and $105,000, the Fort Wayne company would be selected if the other state has a preference ordinance. The ordinance spells out the margins for the preference.

“I am pleased that Mayor Henry and his administration recognize the importance of purchasing from local companies, and quite pleased that we have been able to come to a compromise Indiana-preference ordinance which they now support,” Councilwoman Goldner said.

Not only does the registration process simplify the process for the City, it also makes Fort Wayne companies eligible to bid on state contracts and does not affect the City’s joint purchasing efforts with other entities.

“I am very happy to be co-sponsoring this bill,” said Councilman Didier. “I believe as a community we need to stay focused on Fort Wayne workers and the state as a whole whenever possible. And I am confident with this bill in place it will help to keep us pointed in the right direction.”

Mayor Henry and the Purchasing staff do not expect the ordinance to cost the City significantly more for its contracts and purchases. Most companies with whom the City does business have a Fort Wayne presence currently. This ordinance only gives Indiana companies an edge when competing with out-of-state entities. Thirty-six states have preference laws including Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.

Business owners or managers can register their companies as an Indiana business on-line. The same link is also available on the City’s website under Purchasing.

With Council approval, the ordinance becomes effective with the Mayor’s signature.

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