State contract rule change parks disagreements


Contractors in Alabama are fighting over legislation that would allow the construction of public buildings without contractors competing in a traditional bidding process.A bill awaiting a vote Thursday in a state Senate committee would allow a government entity to pick a construction manager and then agree on a maximum price for a project. If the project came in over the maximum price, the construction manager would cover the extra cost. Jay Reed of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama says it is an option that will give taxpayers the best value.Opposition is coming from small and medium contractors who say the selection process is too subjective and favors bigger companies.The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Slade Blackwell, says the proposed legislation is intended for large, complex projects.