DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit hopes to save millions of dollars a year by joining the state’s co-op purchasing program.

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh said switching to the program is a necessary cost-saving  move that Detroit cannot afford to ignore.

“We’re staring down the barrel of a gun from the new Governor that says get your financial house in order or we’re going to come in and take over,” Pugh said. “We’re looking at this emergency financial manager legislation that’s on a fast track. We’re looking at changes in state revenue sharing that really could take tens of millions of dollars out of our budget. So we’ve got to tighten up.”

Under Michigan’s cooperative purchasing program, local units of government can utilize state contracts to buy goods and services. This allows cities to cut costs associated with purchasing and eliminate the time needed to post, analyze and award bids.

Examples of contract opportunities include municipal vehicles, ‘green’ products, road salt, business consulting, law enforcement, construction and office supplies.

Pugh said his proposed purchasing order changes could perhaps save Detroit millions of dollars.

WWJ’s Florence Walton reported that some Detroit based businesses worry the move may save the city money but it could also hurt them financially.

However, Pugh said Detroit based businesses need not worry about losing the city’s business.

“We’ve devised an excellent way for them to know what the co-op price is and to be able to match that price. So we wouldn’t just, every time, get the lowest bid being the co-op purchasing price. Because sometimes we will have Detroit vendors who have a lower price than the co-op price,” Pugh said.

Detroit City Council is set to vote on the changes this Tuesday.


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