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On March 23rd, Governor Branstad signed into law Senate File 2170  which will become effective on July 1, 2016, making changes to the publication requirements for the notice to bidders on public improvement projects.

Five Steps to Comply:

  1. Prepare your notice to bidders as before.
  2. Email the notice to bidders
  3. You will receive a confirmation of receipt email.  Keep this email for your records similarly to the publication affidavit you received from a newspaper before.
  4. The notice will be sent out the next day via email to the entire subscriber base of the CU Network.  (Note the actual posting needs to be completed 13 to 45 days before the bid opening so remember to email the notice at least 14 days before the bid opening)
  5. The same day you send the notice to CU Network, post the notice to the governmental entity’s website or send it to the statewide association that represents that governmental entity (i.e. Iowa Association of School BoardsIowa League of Cities, or the Iowa State Association of Counties)

Changes Include:

  • SF 2170 removes the requirement to “publish” the notice in a local newspaper:
    • It is still necessary to publish a notice of hearing in a local paper at least four, but no more than 20 days before the public hearing.
    • It does add the requirement for a description of the public improvement and its location be included in the notice.
    • Since more information is required in the notice to bidders, it may be helpful to separate the notice to bidders from the notice of hearing to avoid an unnecessarily long notice in the newspaper.
  • Requires the notice to bidders be “posted” in the following locations:
  • Note the bill does NOT change the definition of a notice to bidders, which will still need to include all the information listed in 26.7.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Chapter 26.7 of the code
  • Timeframe is changing from four to 45 days before the bid opening to 13 to 45 days, allowing additional bidding time before the bid opening

Resources: