Sumter City Council looks at making purchasing changes

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Sumter City Council voted in favor of amending the city's procurement code to reflect modern prices and began its annual tradition of recognizing longtime city employees on Tuesday.

The procurement code has not been updated in decades, City Attorney Eric Shytle said.

Council approved first reading of an ordinance that would amend price limits regarding the city's current procurement code that allow certain city officials - department directors, the city finance director and city manager - to make purchases below a specific amount without competitive bidding or a vote from the council.

For example, the proposed amendments would require city council approval for purchases of goods or services that exceed $100,000. The existing ordinance requires council approval for purchases exceeding $75,000.

The amendments would also increase the minimum price for field purchase orders - a method to expedite necessary purchases without waiting on council approval - regarding goods and services from $500 to $2,500; and costs for repairs or services from $1,000 to $5,000.

This is a modernization of the existing procurement ordinance, Shytle said. The proposed increases for purchase limits reflect the city's more-than-$60-million budget and modern prices, he said.

The amendments require a second reading to replace the current procurement code.

In other news, city council and city officials recognized more than 25 city employees - public service and administration employees and first responders - who have worked with the municipality for 10 years.

Sumter City Manager Deron McCormick said council will recognize employees who have dedicated more than 10 years during its next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19.