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About Purchasing

Purchasing is responsible for the centralized purchasing and warehousing functions for all City operations and to distribute materials on a daily basis for all City Department/Divisions. The warehouse personnel receive in inventory and non-inventory items. The Purchasing Warehouse stocks and issues items to all City departments/ divisions. Non-inventory items are delivered or picked up by the individual departments/divisions. Special project materials are also stocked. Inventory items include electrical, gas, water, office supplies, tools, sewer supplies, etc. The warehouse also issues City uniforms to employees (except police and fire departments). Certain items are delivered to individual departments/divisions. The warehouse operates on the AS400 computer system which simplifies the inventory process and daily operations. The AS400 assists the Purchasing Technician in ordering items on a daily basis. This is accomplished by daily input of issue and return tickets.

Doing Business with the City

The purpose of the section is to acquaint you, and other representatives who sell to the City, with the procedures followed by the Finance Department in carrying out the purchasing activities for the City of Wilson. Familiarity with the purchasing procedures will aid you materially in presenting your product to the City. It will also promote pleasant and business-like relationship with the City Purchasing personnel.

Purchasing Policies

In an average year, purchasing issues about 5,500 purchase orders with a value of approximately 17 million dollars. Because of the substantial amount of public money involved, Purchasing is guided in its purchasing procedures by several established policies are:

1. To conduct all purchasing in accordance with North Carolina Laws, City Charter and City of Wilson Code.

2. To obtain the quantity and quality of materials at the right price and when they are needed.

3. To stimulate competitive bidding in order to obtain materials and services at the lowest possible cost and to offer their products to the city.

4. To treat all vendors fairly.

Introducing Your Product

The City of Wilson engages in a number of varied activities while providing municipal services for its residents. These services include police and fire protection, water production and distribution, electrical distribution, street maintenance, garbage and trash collection and disposal, sewage disposal, parks and recreation facilitates, vehicle maintenance, planning and inspection services. A great variety of equipment, supplies and services must be purchased for the departments and divisions performing these services. These purchases are processed through Purchasing.

While it is beyond the scope of this booklet to list all the products and services which the City buys, Purchasing is interested in your product if it is needed by the City. Therefore, it is important to both you and the City that your product or service be introduced in the most efficient and effective manner possible. In accordance with the City of Wilson’s moral and legal obligations to rectify economic and social inequities, recognition is given the need for a concerted effort to be put forth to assure that minority and small business enterprises are afforded equal business opportunity to participate in all phases of its operation.

The following paragraphs will provide information which will help you to introduce your product or service.

Where the City Buys

The City of Wilson has a centralized purchasing function. Purchasing is the authority for all purchase transactions. Vendors shall not make sales to City employees without a purchase order unless approval is given by Purchasing. Employees outside Purchasing or the Finance Department do not have the authority to commit City funds unless Purchasing acts as liaison between vendor and City employee.

How the City Buys

All purchase of supplies, equipment and contractual services except professional services, where the cost exceeds $90,000 are purchased on the basis of formal competitive sealed bids.

Purchases less than $90,000 are made on an informal bid basis. Whenever possible these purchases are based on at least three informal quotations. Quotations may be solicited by mail, telephone, or personal visits by salesmen.

In case of emergency, and with the consent of the Director of Finance, the Purchasing Manager, Department Heads or their designee may purchase necessary supplies, materials, or equipment. This may be done only when it is essential that such purchases be made in order to safe-guard City property or to provide services which virtually affect the life, health or convenience for the Citizens of Wilson.

Informal bids are allowed by Fax.

Formal bids are not allowed by Fax.

Bidding Procedures

Specific bidding procedures have been established by the City to conform with the requirements established by law and to provide for uniform treatment of all vendors. Small business and minority business enterprises are encouraged to participate in the bidding procedures outlined below.

It is important that each vendor be familiar with these requirements and follow them. The purchasing procedures, including these requirements, are discussed in the following sections of this Webpage.

Notice of Invitation to Bid

The process of purchasing by formal competitive bids is initiated by the City of Wilson. A notice to bid is published in the legal notices of the “official” newspaper of the City. Any minority or small business enterprise pursuant to any invitation to bid, advertisement or solicitation, will be given full opportunity to submit bids and/or proposals and will not be discriminated against on the basis or race, color, sex, physical handicap, or national origin in consideration of an award.

Notices of call for bids are also mailed to vendors whose names are maintained on a “Bidder’s List”. This list is maintained in Purchasing for each class of commodity and service which is regularly purchased by the City. The names and addresses of vendors who can furnish the required products or services and who have expressed an interested in being contacted when the City purchases such items are maintained on a current basis in Purchasing.

Application for Placement on Bidders List

Vendors applying for placement on Bidder List are requested to come by in person to Purchasing at the City of Wilson Operations Center, 1800 Herring Ave. between the hours of 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. Vendors who cannot do this, are requested to apply by downloading and filling out a Vendor Application (see below).


One of the most important factors in determining what the City buys is the quality requirement of the using department or division. This quality requirement is not necessarily the best nor the cheapest of a particular commodity. The City determines quality by need, that is, the items that are both economical and best suited for the particular use to which they will be put.

The quality required of an item or service is stipulated in a specification. Frequently, these specifications become quite technical, in other circumstances a “brand name” may be used. In either case, the specification is an expression of the quality and not a preference for a particular brand name. Vendors with products meeting or exceeding the quality requirements are invited to bid even though the brand name of their product may not be mentioned in the specifications.

Specifications are usually mailed with Notices for Invitation to Bid. They are also available in the Purchasing office and interested vendors are invited to request copies. A request in person, by telephone, or by mail will bring a copy of the specifications to you by return mail.

The purchasing department welcomes at any time vendor’s suggestions for improving either specifications or purchasing procedures.


Proposals should be submitted on the proposal form furnished by the City. Completion of the proposal form constitutes the most convenient method for both the vendor and the City. If a vendor cannot bid on all items he should mark the items on which he is not bidding with the words “No Bid”. Care would be taken that all amounts on the proposal are correct. Extensions should be double checked to insure their accuracy.

Applicable Taxes

Federal excise taxes and North Carolina sales tax must be excluded from bid prices. The City of Wilson is exempt from Federal excise tax in certain instances and upon request, the Purchasing Manager will execute the exemption certificates in connection with all orders when Federal excise tax would otherwise be due.

Delivery Dates

Vendors should always state the number of “calendar days” required before delivery of a product can be made or they should indicate the specific date upon which delivery will be made. The time required for delivery may be one of the most important considerations in determining who shall be awarded the bid. In this connection successful bidders will be expected to deliver the materials and/or services they are providing within the specified time.

Payment Terms

Bidders must insure that payment terms are specifically stated in the proposal. In a competitive market the offering of a discount for prompt payment is often a decisive factor as to whether a particular vendor is the low bidder. Cash discounts are always deducted from the base bid in determining the low bidder. The City interprets a percentage discount for payment “within 10 days” to mean that discount will be allowed if the material is accepted and paid within 10 days after receipt of both the products and the vendor’s invoice.

Shipping Point

All bids are to be quoted F.O.B. Wilson with delivery as specified in the Invitation to Bid. Any variations from this requirement must be clearly covered in the vendor’s written proposal. Freight charges may be shown as a separate item but the title to material equipment will not pass to the City of Wilson until receipt and inspection of materials/equipment being purchased.


All shipments to the City of Wilson must be made to “Central Warehouse” or to locations shown on the purchase order. Deliveries may be required to be made to different departments and divisions located in various parts of the City. The purchase order number must appear on the shipping or delivery ticket. Failure to meet specified delivery schedules may result in cancellations of the order or being removed from Bidders’ List for failure to perform.

Vendors who are successful in obtaining bids and in sales to the City will add North Carolina Sales Tax when billing the City for goods sold.


Vendors should always examine the Invitation to Bid to determine whether they are required to submit samples with a bid. When samples are requested they will be held until after the award is made unless otherwise specified. If a vendor wishes to submit a sample of his product for trial and use, the product must be presented at no cost or obligation the City. This policy is also required on informal bids at times.

Submitting the Bid

All bids must be marked as indicated in the “Notice for Bids” and mailed or delivered to the Purchasing Manager, City of Wilson, P.O. Box 10, Wilson, North Carolina 27894, or personally to the Purchasing Office, at 1800 Herring Ave. They must be received in the office of the Purchasing Manager before the time stated for opening of the bids. Bids received after the designated time will be returned unopened and will not be considered.

Bid Security

All formal sealed-bids must be accompanied by a “bid deposit” in an amount equal to not less the five percent (5%) of the total amount of the bid as required by North Carolina law unless waived. This bid deposit may be in the form of cash, cashiers check, certified check or a bid bond by a North Carolina Licensed surety company. Personal and company checks are not acceptable.

The bid deposit is required to guarantee that the successful bidder will accept the order or contract when awarded to him. This deposit shall be retained if the successful bidder fails to execute a contract or accept a purchase order within 10 days after the award, or fails to give satisfactory surety as may be required. The deposit of the unsuccessful bidder will be returned promptly after award with an acknowledgment of receipt requested.

Performance Bonds

Performance bonds are required by North Carolina

Vendor Application (PDF)

Terms and Conditions
  1. DEFAULT AND PERFORMANCE BOND: In case of default by the contractor, the City of Wilson may procure the articles or services from other sources and hold the contractor responsible for any excess cost occasioned thereby. The City of Wilson reserves the right to require performance bond or other acceptable alternative guarantees from successful bidder without expense to the City of Wilson.
  2. GOVERNMENTAL RESTRICTIONS: In the event any Governmental restrictions are imposed which necessitate alternation of the material, quality, workmanship or performance of the items prior to delivery, it shall be the responsibility of the contractor to notify, in writing, the issuing purchasing office at once, indicating the specific regulation, which required such alterations. The City of Wilson reserves the right to accept any such alternations, including any price adjustments occasioned thereby, or to cancel the contract.
  3. AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS: Any and payments to the contractor are dependent upon and subject to the availability of funds to the City for the purpose set forth in this agreement.
  4. TAXES: Any applicable taxes shall be invoices as a separate item. The City is not exempt from local or North Carolina sales tax.
  5. SITUS: The place of this contract, its situs and forum, shall be North Carolina, where all matters, whether sounding in contract or tort, relating to its validity, construction, interpretation and enforcement shall be determined.
  6. GOVERNING LAWS: This contract is made under and shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina.
  7. INSPECTION AT CONTRACTOR’S SITE: The City of Wilson reserves the right to inspect, at a reasonable time, the equipment/item, plant or other facilities of a prospective contractor prior to contract award, and during the contract term as necessary for the City of Wilson’s determination that such equipment/item, plant or other facilities conform with the specifications/requirements and are adequate and suitable for the proper and effective performance of the contract.
  8. PAYMENT TERMS: Payment terms are Net 30 after receipt of correct invoice or acceptance of goods, whichever is later.
  9. AFFIRMATIVE ACTIVE: The contractor will take affirmative action in complying with all Federal and State requirements concerning fair employment and employment of the handicapped, and concerning the treatment of all employees without regard to discrimination by reason of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or physical handicap.
  10. CONDITION AND PACKAGING: Unless otherwise provided by special terms and conditions or specifications, it is understood and agreed that any item offered or shipped has not been sold or used for any purpose and shall be in first class condition. All containers/packaging shall be suitable for handling, storage or shipment.
  11. STANDARDS: All manufactured items and/or fabricated assemblies subject to operation under pressure, operation by connection to an electric source, or operation involving a connection to a manufactured natural, or LP gas source shall be constructed and approved in a manner acceptable to the appropriate state inspector which customarily requires the label or reexamination listing or identification marking of the appropriated safety standard organization; such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for pressure vessels; the Underwritter’s Laboratories and / or National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association of electrically operated assemblies; or the American Gas Association for gas operated assemblies, where such approvals of listings have been established for the type of device offered and furnished. Further, all items furnished shall meet all requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHS), and state and federal requirements relating to clean air, and water pollution.
  12. PATENT: The contractor shall hold and save the City of Wilson, its officers, agents and employees, harmless from liability of any kind, including costs and expenses, on account of any copyrighted material, patented or unpatented invention, articles, device or appliance manufactured or used in the performance of this contract, including used by the government.
  13. ADVERTISING: Contractor agrees not to use the existence of this contract, the name of the City of Wilson as part of any commercial advertisement.
  14. ACCESS TO PERSONS AND RECORDS: An independent auditor shall have access to persons and records as a result of all contracts or grants entered into by the City of Wilson in accordance with General Statute 147-64.7.
  15. ASSIGNMENT: No assignment of the contractor’s obligations nor the contractor’s right to receive payment hereunder shall be permitted. However, upon written request approved by the issuing purchasing authority and solely as a convenience to the contractor, the City of Wilson may:
    a. Forward the contractor’s payment check directly to any person or entity designated by the contractor, and
    b. Include any person or entity designated by contractor as a joint payee on the contractor’s payment check. In no event shall such approval and action obligate the City of Wilson to anyone other than the contractor and the contractor shall remain responsible for fulfillment of all contract obligations.
    COVERAGE – During the term of the contract, the contractor at its sole cost and expense shall provide commercial insurance of such type and with such terms and limits as may be reasonably associated with the contract. As a minimum, the contractor shall provide and maintain the following coverage and limits:
    a. Worker’s Compensation – The contractor shall provide and maintain Worker’s Compensation Insurance, as required by the laws of North Carolina, as well as employer’s liability coverage with minimum limits of $150,000.00, covering all contractor’s employees who are engaged in any work under the contract. If any work is sublet, the contractor shall require the subcontractor to provide the same coverage for any of his employees engaged in any work under the contract.
    b. Commercial General Liability – General Liability Coverage on a Comprehensive Broad Form on an occurrence basis in the minimum amount of $500,000.00 Combined Single Limit. (Defense cost shall be in excess of the limit of the liability.)
    c. Automobile – Automobile Liability Insurance, to include liability coverage, covering all owned, hired, and non-owned vehicles, used in connection with the contract. The minimum combined single limit shall be $150,000.00 uninsured/under insured motorist; and $1,000.00 medical payment.REQUIREMENTS: Providing and maintaining adequate insurance coverage is a material obligation of the contractor and is of the essence of this contract. All such insurance shall meet all laws of the State of North Carolina. Such insurance coverage shall be obtained from companies that are authorized to provide such coverage and that are authorized by the Commissioner of Insurance to do business in North Carolina. The contractor shall at all times comply with terms of such insurance policies, and all requirements of the insurer under any such insurance policy, except as they may conflict with existing North Carolina laws or this contract. The limits of coverage under each insurance policy maintained by the contractor shall not be interpreted as limiting the contractor’s liability and obligations under the contract.
  17. CANCELLATION (TERM CONTRACTS ONLY): All contract obligations shall prevail for at least 180 days after the effective date of the contract. After that period, in addition to the provisions of the paragraph entitled Price Adjustments, for the protection of both parties, this contract may be canceled in whole or in part by either party giving 30 days prior notice in writing to the other party. Such notice of cancellation, as required herein, shall be transmitted via U.S. MAIL, Certified, and Return Requested. The 30 days notice for cancellation shall begin on the day the return receipt is signed and dated.
  18. QUANTITIES (TERM CONTRACT ONLY): The award of a term contract neither implies nor guarantees any minimum or maximum purchases thereunder.
  19. PRICE ADJUSTMENTS (TERM CONTRACT ONLY): Any price changes, downward or upward, which might be permitted during the contract period must be general, either by reason of market change or on the part of the contractor to other customers. 2
    a. Notification: Must be given to the Purchasing Department, in writing, concerning any proposed price adjustments. Such notification shall be accompanied by copy of manufacturer’s official notice or other acceptable evidence that the change is general in nature.
    b. Decreases: The City of Wilson shall receive full proportionate benefit immediately at any time during the contract period.
    c. Increased: All prices shall be firm against increase for 180 days from the effective date of the contract. After this period, a request for increase may be submitted with the City of Wilson reserving the right to reject the increase, or cancel the contract. Such action by the City of Wilson shall occur not later than 15 days after the receipt by the City of Wilson of a properly documented request for price increase. Any increase accepted shall become effective not later than 30 days after the expiration of the original 15 days reserved to evaluate the requested price increase.
    d. Invoice: It is understood and agreed that orders will be shipped at the established contract prices in effect on dates orders are placed. Invoicing at variance with this provision will subject the contract to cancellation. Applicable North Carolina sales tax shall be invoiced as a separate item.
  20. E- verify- I understand that E-Verify is the federal E-Verify program operated by
    the United States Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies, or any successor or equivalent program used to verify the work authorization of newly hired employees pursuant to federal law in accordance with NCGS 64-25 et seq. I am aware of and in compliance with the requirements of E-Verify and Article 2 of Chapter 64 of the North Carolina General Statutes. To the best of my knowledge, any subcontractors employed by me as a part of this contract are in compliance with the requirements of E-Verify and Article 2 of Chapter 64 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
Bid Request System
Historically Underutilized Businesses Program (Minority Participation)

Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) Mission:

Through the HUB Program, the City of Wilson, North Carolina pledges to:

  • Provide minorities and women equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of City contracting and purchasing programs.
  • Prohibit discrimination against a person or business in pursuit of these opportunities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin.

North Carolina State Affidavit forms (PDF)

HUB Quick Pay Policy

The City of Wilson realizes that minority contractors and suppliers require expedient payment of their work invoices in order to meet cash flow demands. The City of Wilson has in place a program to pay invoices by means of a mailed check after 12:00 noon on Friday of a normal work week (no holidays) when the following criteria have been met in advance of submission of the invoice for payment:

  1. A letter on company stationery directed to the Purchasing Manager stating that the firm is requesting quick payment of the invoice due to the fact that the firm making the request is either a HUB contractor or has a HUB as a subcontractor on the project. The letter should reference the particular project number or bid number for the contract for which the quick pay request is in effect. A letter is required for each project.
  2. Submission of an approved invoice (required approvals vary by project but may include some of all of the following: Architect/Engineer, Building Maintenance Supervisor, and departmental personnel. The various types of approval for a particular invoice should be determined by the contractor with the help of the Purchasing Manage prior to issuance of an invoice for payment. No invoice will be paid where the work has not been completed as stipulated in the contract/bid Or if the staff person responsible for the project deems the work to be substandard or unsatisfactory in his/her judgment.
  3. An executed copy of the “Contractor’s Sales Tax Report”, which may be obtained from either Accounting or Purchasing must accompany each invoice in order for the invoice to be paid.
  4. All approved invoices the “Contractor’s Sales Tax Report” attached must be submitted to Accounts Payable by 12:00 noon on Wednesday in the order for a check to be mailed out on Friday afternoon.

HUB Certification

How do I participate?

  1. Get Certified
  • In order to participate, you must first become a certified minority or woman-owned business with the State of North Carolina. Certification is handled through the NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses. Through Vendor Link, the online vendor registration software, businesses may register with the State and verify their status as a HUB vendor. Registration not only certifies you to do business with the City of Wilson as a M/WBE but also makes you eligible for work with the State of NC.
  • If you would like to be certified, please visit the NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businessesand complete the online application. The application process takes approximately 6-8 weeks.

North Carolina General Statute 143-128.2 defines a “minority business” as a business that is:

  • At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The statute also includes corporations in which at least 51% of stock is owned by one or more minority or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The statute defines the term “minority person” as the following:

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • Asian American
  • American Indian
  • Female

A “socially and economically disadvantaged individual” is defined by reference to a federal statute (15 U.S. C. § 637). Socially disadvantaged individuals are:

  • “those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities.” Economically disadvantaged individuals “are those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business who are not socially disadvantaged.”

The City of Wilson provides minorities and women equal opportunity for participating in all aspects of the City’s contracting and procurement programs, including but not limited to, construction projects, supplies and materials purchases, and professional and personal service contracts.  We consider the participation of minority and women-owned businesses and the value of the quality and diversity of goods and services provided an investment.  Any subsequent growth of businesses related to minority business participation parallels greater economic expansion, more jobs, and increased revenue to build our future.

The following is the City of Wilson Minority Business Participation Outreach Plan for the purpose of complying with Senate Bill 914, adopted December 6, 2001, and effective January 1, 2002. This plan remains in effect until statutory or procurement rules changes or policy effectiveness dictate amendment.

The purpose of this plan is to assist the City of Wilson in the attainment of the City’s goal of 5% minority business participation in all construction contracts, {adopted February 1, 1990}.  To encourage minority business participation in all construction contracts to which Senate Bill 914 applies, the City of Wilson will perform the following:

The City of Wilson will research the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) resources as projects are about to be advertised and record all HUBs registered. The resources to be checked are as follows:

State of North Carolina, Department of Administration, HUB website database
N.C. Department of Transportation HUB site and the City of Raleigh, HUB Directory.

  • The City of Wilson will, on or before any publication of a notice of bid, email or mail a copy of the notice of bid to selected HUB’s, which have registered with any of the above sites, for the particular category being bid. The City of Wilson will maintain a listing of all HUB’s who contact the City of Wilson to request that they be notified of a public bid offering. All HUB’s on such list will be furnished a copy of all advertisements for invitations for bid in the categories they have requested.
  • The City of Wilson will advertise in a local newspaper, currently the Wilson Times and in addition, the City of Wilson will advertise on the City’s website under Purchasing/Warehouse. The advertisement will be at least ten (10) days in advance of the bid opening. The advertisement will include a description of the work for which the bid is being solicited, the date, the time, and location where bids may be submitted and where bids will be opened, the name of the city employee or representative who is available to answer questions about the project, where bid documents may be reviewed or a copy obtained, and any other special requirements that may exist.
  • A representative of the City of Wilson will attend all scheduled pre-bid conferences conducted for projects to which Senate Bill 914 applies. At the pre-bid conference, the representative will furnish a list of all HUB’s in the applicable bid category, of which the City of Wilson is aware. The City of Wilson will furnish, upon request, a copy of this Minority Business Participation Outreach Plan.
  • The City of Wilson, its employees, and its consultants will take necessary measures to encourage the education, recruitment, and interaction between minority businesses, non-minority businesses and the City of Wilson.

The Purchasing Manager will ensure compliance to this policy.