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Minnesota Legislature

New Law: Safety equipment purchase or lease

Published (7/15/2011)
By Nick Busse
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It used to be that if a city wanted to buy a used fire truck or police cruiser from another local government, they would have to go through a competitive bidding process. Effective Aug. 1, 2011, local governments can purchase public safety equipment directly from a single source when it makes financial sense.

A new law exempts public safety equipment from municipal contracting statutes, which normally require cities and counties to use competitive bidding or best value alternative processes to buy equipment. Under the provisions, a local government can skip competitive bidding “if the equipment is clearly and legitimately limited to a single source of supply, and the contract price may be best established by direct negotiation.”

The law also authorizes local governments to issue certificates of indebtedness or capital notes to lease public safety equipment for up to 15 years.

Rep. David Hancock (R-Bemidji) and Sen. Ray Vandeveer (R-Forest Lake) are the sponsors.

HF1139*/ SF921/CH33

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