September 25, 2013 – In 1986, the Bi-State Regional Commission’s member governments located in Illinois started work on creating the Illinois Joint Purchasing Council. An intergovernmental agreement was created and approved by the participants. Purchasing activity started in December of that year. In 1999, Bettendorf, Davenport, and Scott County joined the Council and the
word Illinois was removed from the name.
Membership in the Bi-State Joint Purchasing Council requires village, city, or county approval and signing of the intergovernmental agreement by all parties. Currently, 29 government entities are members, and Bi-State membership dues fund the program. The Council lowers governmental purchasing costs through large volume purchases and competitive buying.
Bi-State staff maintains a database of about 275 vendors that includes all contact information, items on which they are able to bid, and past bid responsiveness of the vendor. Two Bi-State employees, Patty Pearson and Peggi Merchie, work with about 80 government staff located in various departments within Bi-State member governments.
The program reduces duplicative administrative costs, such as advertising, postage, bid preparation, and analysis. Vendors deliver all items as indicated on the purchase orders supplied by the participants, which cuts down on shopping trips and fuel charges by participating member governments. Bid prices are firm and all inclusive.
The Council does not accept any of the delivery, freight, or fuel surcharges that are frequently added to invoices. Program participants share expertise and experience attending Joint Purchasing Council meetings or special training sessions held with industry experts.
Currently, the common purchases include:
- Office calendars
- Printer/fax supplies
- Copier and plotter paper
- Water treatment chemicals
- Utility supplies – pipe, clamps, couplings, valves and valve boxes,
- hydrants, marking paint
- Street signs, street sign posts, and related materials
- Ice melt
- Turf chemicals, athletic field dressing items , pond colorants, and turf
- Prairie & wildflower seed
- Janitorial paper products, cleaning supplies and chemicals, and personal
- hygiene items
- Can liners and food service supplies