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Portage, IN Becomes First City to Pass Measure Countering Repeal of Common Construction Wage

Portage Mayor James Snyder

Portage Mayor James Snyder

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On Wednesday, the Portage School Board unanimously voted to approve a responsible bidding policy for work on school construction projects.  The move follows Portage Mayor James Snyder’s proposal of a similar ordinance citywide, which was passed by council. 

The ordinances are considered necessary following the state legislature’s repeal of the Common Construction Wage, which was similar to prevailing wage laws found in other states.

The school board’s policy calls for contractors bidding on work to be “responsive and responsible.”  To be eligible to bid on Portage school projects, contractors must include apprenticeship training, meet all licensing requirements, have a drug testing policy, and be transparent about any violations the company may have been previously cited for.  The policy mirrors the city’s new policy.  

Randy Palmateer, business manager for the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council, thank the board for “making sure the structures you build are safe and built by tradesmen of Northwest Indiana.”

During the first reading of the policy earlier this month, school board president Cheryl Oprisko explained the reasoning for the measure: “We want to make sure we get quality tradesmen and women to do the work for the schools.  We want people who are invested in the community.”

Portage is the first school district in the region to pass such a measure.  


2 Comments on “Portage, IN Becomes First City to Pass Measure Countering Repeal of Common Construction Wage”

  1. As a Portage HS grad., I’m very happy to see the School Board and Mayor working together like this; it is probably peripheral to the general idea behind this, but it will aid workers by making the bidding process more level and open. That it will help union workers, since we already have apprenticeships and are paid at least the prevailing wage.

  2. Isn’t this the same randy palmateer who would use a condo free of charge in Tampa each May that belonged to a non Union engineering firm? I wonder if that is why the surveyors were never unionized?

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