INDIANAPOLIS — Local drainage boards and airport authorities are set to gain flexibility to complete smaller public works projects using their own employees or known contractors.

On Monday, the Indiana Senate voted 43-2 to increase to $150,000 the minimum project size necessary to trigger the competitive bidding process for government-funded construction jobs.

Current law requires drainage boards to seek bids for any project more than $75,000. The airport authority bidding threshold is $100,000.

The $150,000 standard in House Enrolled Act 1019 matches the bidding minimum applied to most other local units of government.

It similarly would allow drainage boards and airport authorities to use their own workers for projects under that size, or to directly request quotes from known entities, instead of putting smaller projects out for public bid.

The sponsors of the measure, state Rep. Jim Pressel, R-Rolling Prairie, and state Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, said the change will enable the boards to move more quickly on some projects, and save on the cost of advertising and hiring a bid consultant.

The proposal previously was approved 98-0 by the House. It now goes to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who is expected to sign it into law.

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