City of Cohoes, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Cohoes 2-1-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: According to Ord. No. 2-2000, adopted 2-22-2000, the Board of Managers shall adopt a Central Purchasing Policy and Procedure by resolution. The Central Purchasing Policy and Procedure shall be distributed to all department heads and reviewed annually by the Board of Managers.

§ 67-1 Purpose.

A. 
This chapter defines the procedures and policies of the City of Cohoes. It outlines the steps necessary for departments to follow in order to purchase goods and services for city use.
B. 
Questions regarding policies and/or procedures should be directed to the Central Purchasing Department, which shall be administered by the Purchasing Agent.
[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000]
C. 
Other pertinent sections have also been included in an effort to clarify the system. This is done to encourage greater knowledge and understanding among department managers and employees of the City of Cohoes.

§ 67-2 Definition; policy.

The office of the New York State Comptroller Financial Management Guide has the following introduction concerning purchasing practices:
A. 
"Purchasing" is a term used to describe the activities of obtaining materials, supplies, equipment and services that are required in the operation of an enterprise.
B. 
In general, the objectives of purchasing are to obtain services or buy materials, supplies and equipment of the right quality in the right quantity from the right source at the right price in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.
C. 
The governing body shall establish rules and regulations to assure the fulfillment of duties it assigns.
D. 
The keynote of any successful purchasing system is cooperation: cooperation between department heads and the purchasing agent; cooperation between purchasing agent and the fiscal officer; and cooperation between the governing board and all officers and employees of the local government.

§ 67-3 Emergency purchases.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the term "emergency purchase," as defined in § 103 of the General Municipal Law will serve as the general definition of emergency purchases, as follows: "in the case of a public emergency arising out of an accident or other unforeseen occurrence or condition whereby circumstances affecting public buildings, public property or the life, health, safety or property of the inhabitants of a political subdivision or district therein, require immediate action...." In other words, unless the situation threatens lives, health or public property safety, the purchase of services or products must go through normal channels: the Central Purchasing Department. In those cases of emergency, the department head responsible for that operation will assume responsibility for the operation.
B. 
Procedures. The following are procedures for emergency purchases:
(1) 
Emergency during regular working hours.
(a) 
Contact Central Purchasing, describe the nature of the emergency and obtain a purchase order number.
(b) 
Determine if budgeted funds are available. If funds are not budgeted, contact Comptroller.
(c) 
Order items or services from vendor, and give vendor purchase order number.
(d) 
On the next business day, the department head will prepare a proper purchase requisition and label that requisition on the top "emergency order."
(2) 
Emergency during nonworking hours.
(a) 
Contact vendor and order emergency items or services.
(b) 
Follow the steps in Subsection B(1)(a) and (d) on the next business day.

§ 67-4 Purchase orders.

[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000]
A. 
The new City of Cohoes purchase order is a multipart form, and the procedure for its use shall be adopted by the Board of Managers and disseminated by the Purchasing Agent to the department heads.
B. 
The various parts of the purchase order form shall be disbursed according to the procedure adopted by the Board of Managers.

§ 67-5 Competitive bidding. [1]

A. 
In determining the need for competitive bidding, the department must consider the aggregate cost of an item to be purchased within a given fiscal year. If the total of the expected purchase equals or exceeds $20,000, bid procedures must be followed; for contracts for public work, the amount is $35,000. The term "purchase" applies to materials, equipment and supplies. The term "public work" applies to contracts involving labor and construction.
[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000; 5-22-2012 by Ord. No. 3-2012]
B. 
The requisitioning department must develop concise, detailed specifications for requested items. All specifications should be developed to allow for equal competitive bidding.
C. 
The department shall work with Central Purchasing, the Comptroller, Corporation Counsel and the Board of Managers, when appropriate.
[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000]
D. 
Exceptions to the bidding process concerning state contracts and other exceptions allowed under the Cohoes City Charter and State General Municipal Law will be determined by the Central Purchasing Department in conjunction with the Comptroller and Corporation Counsel.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 67-5, Blanket purchase orders, was repealed 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000, which local law also renumbered former § 67-6 as 67-5.

§ 67-6 Evaluation of purchase.

A. 
Every purchase to be made must be initially reviewed to determine whether it is a purchase contract or a public work contract. Once that determination is made, a good-faith effort will be made to determine whether it is known or can reasonably be expected that the aggregate amount to be spent on the item of supply or service is not subject to competitive bidding, taking into account past purchases and the aggregate amount to be spent in a year.
[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000]
B. 
The following items, inter alia, are not subject to competitive bidding pursuant to the General Municipal Law and other state law: purchase contracts under $20,000 and public work contracts under $35,000, emergency purchases, certain municipal hospital purchases, goods purchased from correctional institutions, purchases under state and county contracts, and surplus and secondhand purchases from another governmental entity. Also exempt from competitive bidding are contracts for services which require in their proper performance scientific knowledge or professional skill. This list is not meant to be all inclusive.
[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000; 5-22-2012 by Ord. No. 3-2012]
C. 
The decision that a purchase is not subject to competitive bidding will be documented, in writing, by the individual making the purchase. This documentation may include written or verbal quotes from vendors, a memo from the purchaser indicating how the decision was arrived at, a copy of the contract indicating the source which makes the item or service exempt, a memo from the purchaser detailing the circumstances which led to an emergency purchase or any written documentation that is appropriate.
D. 
All contracts for amounts over $50,000 must be approved by the Common Council by resolution.
[Added 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000]

§ 67-7 Required number of proposals. [1]

[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000; 1-5-2016 by Ord. No. 1-2016]
A. 
The following method of purchase will be used when required by this policy in order to achieve the highest savings: By all department heads excluding the mayor.
Estimated Amount of Purchase Contract, Public Work Contract
Method
$0 to $1,499
Discretion of Department heads
$1,500 to $19,000
3 written/fax quotations or written request for proposals
B. 
The Mayor can make a purchase of $0 to $9,999 without quotes or other approval.
C. 
A good-faith effort shall be made to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations. If the purchaser is unable to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations, the purchaser will document the attempt made at obtaining the proposals. In no event shall the failure to obtain the proposals be a bar to the procurement.
D. 
The exceptions found in §§ 67-6B and 67-9 may apply to written quotations even where competitive bidding is not required. The requisitioning department head should discuss this with the Purchasing Agent when appropriate.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 67-7, Receiving and authorization, was repealed 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000, which local law also renumbered § 67-8 as § 67-6.

§ 67-8 Documentation; explanation of award to other than lowest offeror.

A. 
Documentation is required of each action taken in connection with each procurement.
B. 
Documentation and an explanation are required whenever a contract is awarded to other than the lowest responsible offeror. This documentation will include an explanation of how the award will achieve savings or how the offeror was not responsible. A determination that the offeror is not responsible shall be made by the purchaser and may not be challenged under any circumstances.

§ 67-9 Exceptions. [1]

[Amended 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000]
Pursuant to law, the procurement policy may contain circumstances when or types of procurements for which in sole discretion of the governing body the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the municipality. In the following circumstances it may not be in the best interests of the City of Cohoes to solicit quotations or document the basis for not accepting the lowest bid:
A. 
Professional services or services requiring special or technical skill, training or expertise. (See also § 67-6B.)
(1) 
The individual or company must be chosen based on accountability, reliability, skill, education and training, judgment, integrity and moral worth. These qualifications are not necessarily found in the individual or company that offers the lowest price, and the nature of these services are such that they do not readily lend themselves to competitive procurement procedures.
(2) 
In determining whether a service fits into this category, the Board of Managers shall take into consideration the following guidelines:
(a) 
Whether the services are subject to state licensing or testing requirements;
(b) 
Whether substantial formal education or training is a necessary prerequisite to the performance of the services; and
(c) 
Whether the services require a personal relationship between the individual and municipal officials.
(3) 
Professional or technical services shall include but not limited to the following:
(a) 
Services of an attorney.
(b) 
Services of a physician.
(c) 
Technical services of an engineer engaged to prepare plans, maps and estimates.
(d) 
Securing insurance coverage and/or services of an insurance broker.
(e) 
Services of a certified public accountant.
(f) 
Investment management services.
(g) 
Printing services involving extensive writing, editing or art work.
(h) 
Management of municipally owned property.
(i) 
Computer software or programming services for customized programs or services involved in substantial modification and customizing of prepackaged software.
B. 
Emergency purchases pursuant to § 103, Subdivision 4, of the General Municipal Law. Due to the nature of this exception, these goods or services must be purchased immediately, and a delay in order to seek alternate proposals may threaten the life, health safety or welfare of the residents. This section does not preclude alternate proposals if time permits. (See also § 67-3.)
C. 
Purchases of surplus and secondhand goods from any source. If alternate proposals are required, the City of Cohoes is precluded from purchasing surplus and secondhand goods at auctions or through specific advertised sources where the best prices are usually obtained. It is also difficult to try to compare prices of used goods, and a lower price may indicate an older product.
D. 
Goods or services under $1,499. The time and documentation required to purchase through this policy may be more costly than the item itself and would therefore not be in the best interests of the taxpayer. In addition, it is not likely that such de minimis contracts would be awarded based on favoritism.
[Amended 1-5-2016 by Ord. No. 1-2016]
E. 
Any contract can be awarded on the basis of best value instead of lowest responsible bidder. The basis for determining best value shall be thoroughly and accurately documented.
[Added 9-22-2015 by L.L. No. 7-2015]
(1) 
The basis for awarding contracts for services to a responsible bidder who optimizes quality, cost and efficiency for the City is based upon objective and quantifiable analysis. Goods procured and awarded on the basis of best value are those that the Purchasing Agent determines will be of the highest quality while being the most cost efficient.
(2) 
Contracts shall include those for goods, commodities and equipment, including technology.
(3) 
The determination of quality and cost efficiency shall be based on objectively quantified and clearly described and documented criteria, which may include, but shall not be limited to, any or all of the following:
(a) 
Cost of maintenance;
(b) 
Proximity to the end use if distance or response time is a significant term;
(c) 
Durability;
(d) 
Availability of replacement parts or maintenance contractors;
(e) 
Longer product life;
(f) 
Product performance criteria; and
(g) 
Quality of craftsmanship.
(4) 
General evaluation criteria shall be identified in the City's Procurement Policy, a copy of which shall be maintained in the Department of Public Works and made available to the public.
(5) 
The Purchasing Agent shall establish specific evaluation criteria that will be relied upon for procuring goods based upon best value, which shall be maintained in the Department of Public Works and made available to the public.
(6) 
Solicitation documents shall state the minimum requirements and specifications that must be met in order for the bidder to be deemed responsible and shall identify the general procedure and manner in which the evaluation and selection shall be conducted.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 67-9, Formal bidding required; exceptions, was repealed 2-22-2000 by Ord. No. 2-2000, which local law also renumbered §§ 67-11 through 67-13 as 67-8 through 67-10, respectively.

§ 67-10 Annual review.

This policy shall go into effect immediately and will be reviewed annually.

§ 67-11 Contracts and supplies.

[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 13-2009]
A. 
Except as otherwise provided by law, it shall be the duty of the Board of Managers, where the total cost during the period of service is $10,000 to $49,999, and for such other expenditures for services exceeding this sum when established by ordinance of the Common Council, after public notice and in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by general ordinance of the Common Council, to direct the Purchasing Agent to let the lowest responsible bidder, who will give adequate security therefor, all contracts for public work involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 and to direct the Purchasing Agent to let to the lowest responsible bidder, who will give adequate security therefor, all purchase contracts involving an expenditure of more than $20,000 or as may be set forth in §103 of the General Municipal Law, and amendments thereto or successor, unless by ordinance of the Common Council, unanimously adopted and unanimously approved by the Board of Managers, it is determined to be impracticable to procure such work or materials, or both, by contract, in which case said ordinance shall direct the Purchasing Agent to procure such work or purchase such materials. If, for reasons of efficiency or economy, there is a need for standardization, purchase contracts for that particular type of standard equipment, materials or supplies of more than $20,000 or as may be set forth in § 103 of the General Municipal Law, and amendments thereto or successor, may be awarded by the Board to the lowest responsible bidder furnishing the required security after resolution or vote of a least 2/3 of the members of the Common Council, which resolution shall contain a full explanation of the reasons for its adoption and which shall further direct the Purchasing Agent to make such purchase.
[Amended 5-22-2012 by Ord. No. 3-2012; 1-5-2016 by Ord. No. 1-2016]
B. 
In the case of public emergency involving accident or other injury by which the heating or plumbing of any of the public buildings or any of the fire or water works apparatus shall become disabled, the Commissioner having jurisdiction thereof shall cause repairs thereto to be made without a letting by contract, upon filing with the Board of Managers a certificate approved by the Mayor, showing such emergency and the necessity for such repairs.
C. 
The Board shall have power to reject all bids or proposals if, in its opinion, the lowest bid or proposal is excessive subject to the provisions of § 67-11.
D. 
The notice shall describe the work and materials for which contracts will be let and the day and hour and place of the meeting of the Board at which proposals therefor will be opened. Specifications for the performance of any work and for the supply of any materials shall be prepared and set forth with sufficient detail to inform all persons proposing to bid therefor of the nature of the work to be done and of the materials to be supplied, and written or printed copies thereof shall be delivered to all applicants therefor.
E. 
Every contract for a public improvement shall be based upon an estimate of the whole cost thereof, including all expenses incidental thereto and connected therewith to be prepared by the Purchasing Agent in consultation with the proper officer, board or department having charge of such improvements. No bid or proposal shall be received or contract awarded, other than for a local improvement or work to be performed by the City, which involves the construction or maintenance of any structure, erection, obstruction or excavation within, under, over, along or upon any street or public place within the City, unless the person to whom such contract shall be awarded shall have a franchise permitting the same.

§ 67-12 Proposals.

[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 13-2009]
No contract shall be let, except after the receipt of sealed bids or proposals therefor, and no bids or proposals shall be received at any time other than at a regular meeting of said Board and unless they conform to the rules of the Board and the general ordinances of the Common Council. All bids or proposals must be endorsed with the title of the work or materials to which they relate, the name of the bidder and his/her residence. It shall be the duty of each member of the Board to be present at the time and place mentioned in the public notice for the receipt and opening of bids or proposals, and such meetings shall be open to the public. After all the bids or proposals have been presented, but not until 1/2 hour after the time stated in the public notice for holding the meeting, all bids or proposals shall be opened by some member of the Board or by its Secretary, publicly and in the presence of the bidders and other persons there present, and an abstract of all of such bids or proposals with the prices and security offered shall be transcribed in a book kept for that purpose, without any change, correction or addition whatever. A majority of the Board must be present when such bids or proposals are opened. The Board may reject all bids or proposals containing a total cost during the period of service of less than or equal to $50,000 received at any meeting and advertise again for new bids or proposals to be received at another meeting as above prescribed. For all bids or proposals received at any meeting containing a total cost during the period of service exceeding $50,000, the Board shall prepare a written evaluation and recommendation to be forwarded to the Common Council. The Common Council, at its next meeting, shall direct the Board toward the final disposition of each proposal in excess of $50,000 in the aggregate, or instruct the Board to reject all such bids or proposals received and to advertise again for new bids or proposals to be received at another meeting as above prescribed. No person submitting or on whose behalf a bid or proposal is submitted nor the principal or sureties on any bond or security accompanying the same shall have the right to withdraw or cancel any such bid, proposal or bond until the Board shall have awarded the contract for which such bid or proposal is made, and such contract shall have been duly executed.

§ 67-13 Contracts for lighting.

[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 13-2009]
All municipal lighting shall be supplied pursuant to contract therefor, awarded by the Board of Managers as herein provided. Such contract shall cover and include the lighting and supplying of the lamps or electric current and the cleaning, repair and renewal of the lamps and all the materials required in the use and care thereof. No bid or proposal for any such contract shall be received, nor contract awarded therefor, unless the bidder shall, prior to the making of such bid or proposal, have a franchise under the authority of which the proposed contract can be performed. No contract shall be advertised for or entered into for a period exceeding five years. Each bidder shall be required to furnish with each bid or proposal a certified check, payable to the order of the City Treasurer, in such sum as the Board of Managers shall prescribe, but not less than $5,000. Such sum shall be forfeited to and become the absolute property of the City in case the bidder depositing the same shall be awarded the contract and shall not execute the same and furnish a bond for the faithful performance of such contract, in the penal sum of not less than $50,000, within 30 days after the award of such contract. Such certified check shall be returned to the bidder if the contract is not awarded to him/her or, if awarded, he/she shall have executed and furnished the contract and required bond.

§ 67-14 Secretary of Board; procurement procedures.

[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 13-2009]
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a full journal of all the proceedings of the Board, to transmit a copy of the minutes of all such proceedings to the Purchasing Agent and to perform such additional duties as may be required by the Board or by law or ordinance of the Common Council. Where any work repairs needed to be done or materials or supplies to be furnished for any office, court, board or department and which are not otherwise provided by this chapter, such procurement will be performed by the Purchasing Agent and in compliance with such rules and regulations as promulgated by the Common Council. No materials or supplies shall be purchased for or delivered by or to any officer, board, court, body or department of the City, except upon the requisition, in writing, from the officer, body or head of the department for which the same are required. The Purchasing Agent shall require a receipt, in writing, from each officer, board, body or head of the department for all supplies delivered to him/her or it by the Purchasing Agent or on his/her order, and he/she shall approve, in writing, all claims for any such materials or supplies purchased by him/her, before the same shall be presented to the Comptroller for audit.

§ 67-15 Contracts for paving.

[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 13-2009]
The Common Council shall, by general ordinance, prescribe, approve and adopt the materials to be used in paying, repaying, repairing, surfacing or resurfacing the streets and public places of the City and fix the standard of excellence and test required for such material. The City Engineer shall prepare standard specifications, in accordance with such ordinance, for the performance of the work involved in such improvements with each kind of material so prescribed, approved and adopted therefor. Whenever the Common Council shall determine to make any such improvement and the proceedings provided by law as preliminary thereto shall have been taken, the Board of Managers shall advertise for proposals for the furnishing of materials and the performance of the work involved in such improvements, and specifications shall be prepared and proposals shall be invited, pursuant to the provisions of this Code, for the construction of such improvement with each kind of paving material so prescribed, approved and adopted by the Common Council. In case the expense of any such improvement is to be assessed upon the property abutting upon the street or part thereof to be improved and more than one kind of material is prescribed, approved or adopted therefor, the Secretary of the Board shall, within one week after proposals for such work have been received and opened, cause to be published daily in the official paper for four successive days, exclusive of Sundays, a notice containing a summary statement of all such proposals. A majority of said property owners, owning not less than 1/3 of the feet frontage of property abutting on such street, exclusive of City property, may present to the Board of Managers a petition or other writing designating the general kind of pavement or material to be used in making said improvement. If no part of the expense of such improvement is to be assessed upon the property abutting upon said street, or if such expense is to be so assessed but the property owner shall not have made a designation or shall have made more than one designation, as herein provided, the Common council shall, not later than at its next regular meeting after the expiration of 10 days from the service of such notice, designate the kind of pavement or material to be used in making such improvements, and the contract for such improvement shall be awarded for the kind of pavement or material so designated by the property owners or Common Council as aforesaid to the lowest bidder for doing the work with the kind of pavement or material so designated. In case, however, 2/3 of the owners of property owning at least 3/5 of the linear feet fronting upon said street or part thereof shall designate a particular make, style or brand of the kind of pavement or material to be used in making such improvement, the contract therefor shall be awarded to the lowest bidder for such make, style or brand of such kind of pavement or material, although the same is not the lowest bid for such kind of pavement or material so designated.

§ 67-16 Power to purchase and contract debt limited.

[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 13-2009]
No person shall have power to make any purchase or contract any debt containing a total cost during the period of service exceeding $50,000 or assent to a memorandum of understanding or negotiated agreement with any recognized City employee organization concerning wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment for which the City shall be liable unless authorized by ordinance of the Common Council, the Local Finance Law or otherwise specifically authorized in the provisions of this Code.