Ordinance calls for fair, open competition on Berks County construction projects

Ordinance calls for fair, open competition on projects

READING, Pa. - The Berks County Commissioners have passed an ordinance that calls for fair and open competition on construction projects that are paid for with county funds.

It passed by a vote of two to one, with Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt, the lone Democrat, voting against it.

The vote comes as Reading City Council is considering an ordinance that would authorize project labor agreements on certain projects.

Critics of the agreements, which are known as PLAs, say they are unfair to non-unionized workers.

"It is not an anti-PLA ordinance," said Commissioner Christian Leinbach, R-Berks County. "It is an ordinance that establishes solid principals of open contracting and open bidding."

"This is a solution looking for a problem. It's not necessary to go down this road," countered Barnhardt.

Barnhardt said the county already uses a fair and open bidding process.

The commissioners said they have been invited to meet with Reading City Council next week to discuss project labor agreements.

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