Windsor Town Council adopts revised purchasing policy

Published 5:43 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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The Windsor Town Council saw to it at its Feb. 7 meeting that the town’s purchasing policy was updated for the times.

The council voted unanimously to adopt a revised policy, the draft of which was first presented to the council at its Jan. 10 meeting by Town Manager William Saunders.

In a memo to the council and mayor found within the Feb. 7 meeting packet, Saunders noted that the town’s purchasing policy was dated and in need of revision.

“While the town of Windsor is exempt from many elements of the Virginia Public Procurement

Act due to its population being under 3,500, it is still a framework that should be an

aspirational goal,” he wrote. “In that light, the VPPA was used as a guide.”

He also used as reference the procurement policies from two other Virginia towns with populations of 8,098 and 8,693.

He explained that Windsor’s existing policy had become more restrictive over time due to increases in the Consumer Price Index. The $5,000 limit on administrative purchases at the time of the policy’s 1999 adoption is comparable to more than $9,000 in today’s dollars. 

Further, the existing policy required a formal Request for Proposal or Invitation for Bid at that same $5,000 level, he wrote.

The now-adopted draft increases the administrative purchase level but phases in administrative

purchases with increased scrutiny as the purchase amounts increase, Saunders stated before giving an example of what he meant. He wrote that the highest levels require a purchase order, which must be signed off on by the treasurer, to ensure available funds in that line item, and the town manager. 

“The implementation of purchase orders is new to the town of Windsor,” Saunders stated.

He noted that the updated policy also increases the level of purchase requiring a formal RFP or IFB. 

“The posting of RFPs and IFBs require much administration, which can be burdensome and costly for a small municipality,” he wrote. “However, this increase does not preclude the initiation of an RFP or IFB for a smaller purchase if it would be advantageous to the town.”

Windsor Mayor George Stubbs expressed his support for the updated policy in a Thursday, Feb. 23, interview.

“I agree with the update on it based on the information that we got and the economy and everything and the way prices have gone,” he said. “(The) purchasing policy had not been reviewed for some time, so, yes, I agreed with the update and the discussion that went on and the vote that was taken.”