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Last Updated : March 28, 2022

Bill :

Sponsors:

  • Senator Jeff Bridges Democrat District 26

Status: Not yet introduced

CML Position: Support

Lobbyist: Jaclyn Terwey

Utilities
CML will run legislation to remove the prohibition on competitive bidding for undergrounding projects outlined in C.R.S § 29-8-132. Removing this prohibition modernizes statutory language, increases transparency between local governments and utility providers, and ensures good fiscal stewardship of municipal monies. 

 Municipalities are currently responsible for covering the overall cost of utility undergrounding projects. Most local governments use internal funds or create local assessment districts to cover the costs of the project. CML and our 270 member cities recognize the benefits of undergrounding projects, including improving the area aesthetic, minimizing noise, and maintaining property value. We seek to increase transparency, feasibility, and equity in the undergrounding project process by allowing the use of competitive bidding for these contracts. All source competitive bidding is common practice in Colorado and nationwide for local government funded projects. Undergrounding projects are one of the only types of projects where statute specifically prohibits the use of competitive bidding. Striking language prohibiting competitive bidding for undergrounding projects provides transparency in costs and ensures good fiscal stewardship of public monies. It also helps already burdened municipal procurement/budget offices by standardizing procurement and contracting practices and ensuring that the projects are cost effective. 

To increase the feasibility and transparency of these projects, CML seeks a statutory change to remove the prohibition on competitive bidding and require the public utility to disclose all elements of the work and costs involved in the project. 

We are looking for examples of acceptable disclosure documents in these cases.  If you feel like your utility provides the necessary documentation with adequate detail, please reach out so we can further define what this looks like in the scope of this bill.