Office of Local Systems

Bid and Quote Procedures for Iowa Cities and Counties


General guidance


Step 1

Determine if the work is horizontal or vertical infrastructure, according to the definitions at the bottom of this page.


Step 2

Determine if the work is considered “construction, reconstruction, or improvement”; or if it is considered “maintenance or repair”, using the definitions at the bottom of this page.

Note: Examples of horizontal infrastructure work considered to be “construction, reconstruction or improvements” and horizontal infrastructure work considered to be “maintenance and repair” are provided for cities and counties in the City Street Finance Report Instructions and County Annual Report Instructions, respectively.


Step 3

Follow the appropriate procedures outlined below.


Horizontal infrastructure


Construction
Cities

For construction, reconstruction, or improvement work estimated to exceed the current competitive bid threshold, bid the work and follow the procedures in Iowa Code sections 26.3 through 26.13. 2017 Iowa Acts – Senate File 438 also applies. For cities, Iowa Code 314.1(2) makes Iowa Code 26.3 through 26.13 applicable to Horizontal Construction. Section 2 of the bill added Iowa Code Section 26.16. This is effective beginning April 13, 2017.

Counties

For construction, reconstruction, or improvement work estimated to exceed the current competitive bid threshold, bid the work and follow the procedures in Iowa Code Section 331.341. County contracts for improvements which may be paid for from the secondary road fund shall be awarded in accordance with sections 309.40 to 309.43, 310.14, 314.1, 314.2, and other applicable state law. Counties do not follow the procedures of Iowa Code Chapter 26, due to the definition in Iowa Code Section 26.2.


Maintenance

Maintenance or repairs, regardless of the costs; and construction, reconstruction or improvement work estimated to be less than or equal to the current bid threshold, are not subject to the bid thresholds. This work may be accomplished by competitive bids, competitive quotes, city or county forces, or informal methods in accordance with city or county policies.


Vertical infrastructure


Construction

If the estimated cost of the public improvement exceeds the current bid threshold, counties and cities should follow the competitive bid process in Iowa Code section 26.3 through 26.13. 2017 Iowa Acts – Senate File 438 also applies. Section 2 of the bill added Iowa Code Section 26.16. This is effective beginning April 13, 2017.

If the estimated cost of the public improvement is less than the current bid threshold, but more than the current competitive quote threshold, follow the competitive quotation process in Iowa Code 26.14 and 761 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 180.

If the estimated cost of the public improvement is less than or equal to the competitive quote threshold, the work may be accomplished by city or county forces, or by informal methods in accordance with city or county policies.


Maintenance

Maintenance or repairs may be performed by city or county forces and are not subject to the bid or quote thresholds, regardless of the estimated costs. However, if the work cannot be accomplished by city or county forces, the city or county must follow either the competitive bid or competitive quote process, as applicable, based on the estimated cost of the work, as described above.


Bid and Quote Thresholds

Iowa Code Section 314.1B establishes horizontal and vertical bid threshold subcommittees that meet at least every other year to adjust the bid and quote thresholds for city and county projects. These thresholds become effective on Jan. 1 of the year following the year in which the adjustment is made. The table below shows the currently effective and previous bid and quote thresholds.

Notes:

  1. The thresholds shown above apply to construction, reconstruction, or improvement projects. Repair or maintenance projects are not subject to these thresholds.
  2. Competitive quote procedures are not required for horizontal infrastructure.
  3. Competitive quote procedures for vertical infrastructure were not implemented until Jan 1, 2007.
  4. The Bid Threshold Committee for Vertical Infrastructure did not meet in 2016. The 2017 thresholds for Vertical Infrastructure remain the same as 2015, and will be updated for 2018.


Year Effective Threshold Horizontal Infrastructure Vertical Infrastructure
Cities Counties Cities or
other governmental entities
Counties
< 50,000 pop. > 50,000 pop. < 50,000 pop. > 50,000 pop.
2018 Competitive bid $47,000 $67,000 $87,000 $135,000 $135,000 $135,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $55,000 $75,000 $100,000
2017 Competitive bid $47,000 $67,000 $87,000 $135,000 $135,000 $135,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $55,000 $75,000 $100,000
2015 Competitive bid $50,000 $72,000 $93,000 $135,000 $135,000 $135,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $55,000 $75,000 $100,000
2014 Competitive bid $49,000 $70,000 $91,000 $130,000 $130,000 $130,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $50,000 $72,000 $94,000
2013 Competitive bid $49,000 $70,000 $91,000 $130,000 $130,000 $130,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $50,000 $72,000 $94,000
2012 Competitive bid $47,000 $67,000 $87,000 $125,000 $125,000 $125,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $48,000 $69,000 $91,000
2011 Competitive bid $47,000 $67,000 $87,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $46,000 $67,000 $88,000
2010 Competitive bid $48,000 $69,000 $90,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
Competitive quote N/A N/A N/A $45,000 $65,000 $85,000


Definitions