Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Contractor causes Housing Auth Dilema

Hal Member Posts: 55
Sounds like your 'student' has graduated!
You must be very proud.


  • Jim Davis
    Jim Davis Member Posts: 305
    Great Job!

    Just got a call from one of my students that has been doing all the work for a housing authority in the Boston area. Because he has saved them over $400,000 in fuel and cut their maintenance costs drastically, they now have $2.4 million left over in their budget that needs to be spent. They wanted his recommendation on what to spend it on. Well they have this high-rise, that is all-electric and now it is going to get converted to gas and he has the job.
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Damn! JD...I'm glad I'm studying with you again

    in MARCH. mAd Dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Wardner
    Wardner Member Posts: 20
    Mass contracts

    I don't believe your info is correct. Change orders on existing contracts of this scope cannot be written in Massachusetts. This applies to the design contract as well as the separate construction contract. If solicitations were published this week for a design contract, it would probably take at least a year before the Authority could RFQ the construction contract.

    On top of that, capital expenditures are handled differently from operating expenses. They are not comingled. Budgets for capital improvements are prepared several years in advance.

    I am guessing that your "pupil" was asked to submit an informal estimate on the conversion so that the Authority could get a heads-up on preparing their budgets. This happens all the time particularly when the owner does not have an engineering staff.
  • Jim Davis
    Jim Davis Member Posts: 305

    Is service work a capitol expense if it is spent $100 at a time? Did I say Mass? Nevermind!!
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338
    Ma has a

    $5,000.00 maximum for any work before your required to solicite bids. It then jumps to $ 25,000.00 that can awarded if you solicite three phone bids. Over $ 25,000.00 requires posting in the Central Register and seeking bids.

    All work done in Ma using public, state or federal government funds must meet the Davis/Bacon requirement for hourly rates.

    It is against the law to break out items to keep them within the posted guidelines.
  • Wardner
    Wardner Member Posts: 20

    Under Mass Geneeral Law 149 - Sect A thru J and Mass General Law Chap 30 - Sect 39M, purchasing agents can write purchase orders for less than $10,000 after contacting three contractors. Anything over that requiures a published bid solicitation which includes local newspapers and the Central Register. Lowest qualified bidders signs a contract loaded with boiler plate. Most of it protects the contractor, his employees, and suppliers.

    Change orders on original contracts cannot step out of "scope of work". IDIQ contracts (Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity) are abused in this regard. These are generally service contracts whereby the contractor makes emergency repairs. A HVAC replacement contract on a Housing Authority building would never be issued as a IDIQ.
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338

    our town Building Committee was informed that the minimum had been raised to $ 25,000.00 and we have awarded a number of contracts under those guidelines.

    Our on call Architectural firm confirmed that amount. Looks like we may have to check with Town Council. Let's not tell Pah that Town Council is a lawy...
  • Wardner
    Wardner Member Posts: 20

    You may be right. I am now retired. The last contract I worked on was 15 months ago at Massport. I no longer receive the CR.

    $25,000 used to be the threshold for federal jobs. Most of those contracting offices now use a "simplified acquisition" procedure that uses $50,000 for the cutoff. I assumed that you were confusing the Federal and local regulations.
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338
    Hi Wardner,

    we, on the Building Committee, are currently doing a two million dollar streetscape project with State funding and many of our awarded PO's are for the new $ 25,000.00 figure. We are a little concerned as Mass Electric has had many changes which has lead us to exceed the 25 thousand by more than the allowed percent over.

    We are in dicussion with the Office of Community Development to see how to proceed.

    How's retirement? I'm in no hurray but am looking forward to it.
This discussion has been closed.