Finance Department News

Procurement Specialists receive certification as certified professional public buyers

Velma Fontenot, Procurement Specialist II in the Finance Department, and Laura Sambrano, Procurement Specialist III in the Finance Department, received certification as Certified Professional Public Buyers (CPPB). This prestigious  designation is offered by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council and demonstrates a high standard of competency in the public procurement profession.

City’s Local Preference Program Begins

Starting on May 1, 2013, local San Antonio businesses can participate in the Local Preference Program that the City Council passed on March 21, 2013.

During the last Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature adopted a revision to the law that allows cities to grant contracting preferences to local businesses when price alone determines the winning bid. The law previously allowed only cities with a population under 200,000 to grant such a preference.

The implementation of the Local Preference Program emphasizes the importance of investing in the local community and will help the city secure beneficial contracts while supporting local businesses. The program allows the City to grant preferences in awarding contracts to local businesses.

The term "Local" is defined as a bidder whose primary place of business is within the San Antonio city limits. The definition of a “Local Business” is a business headquartered within the San Antonio city limits or meets the following conditions:

  • An established place of business for at least one year in the incorporated limits of the city
  • And from which at least 100 of its employees or at least 20% of its total full-time, part-time and contract employees are regularly based
  • And from which a substantial role in the business' performance of a commercially useful function or a substantial part of its operations is conducted.

"Headquartered" is defined as the place where a business entity's officers direct, control, and coordinate the entity's activities.

For more information, call (210) 207-7260, or visit the Local SA page.

LED Streetlight Project

On March, 1, 2012, City Council authorized a project to replace 25,000 high pressure sodium lights with more energy efficient LED streetlights. The major benefits of LED streetlights are:

  • Reduced energy usage
  • Reduced maintenance cost
  • Reduced fuel costs due to lower energy usage

The projected energy savings of the LED streetlights are estimated to be 5.1 megawatts per year, the equivalent of providing power to 1,595 homes per year. In September 2012, Council approved a LED streetlight tariff that will result in the City saving approximately $1.1 million annually on its streetlight bill once the project is completed. As such, these tariff savings will allow the project to pay for itself. This project is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2014.

Drought Restrictions

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) uses drought restrictions, established by City Ordinance, to proactively manage the region's water resources. The restrictions limit water use based on specific levels of the Edwards Aquifer. Citizens are encouraged to visit the SAWS website to obtain information regarding drought restrictions and to obtain water savings tips to help conserve water and to lower their bill.

CPS Energy and SAWS Community Outreach

San Antonio’s publicly owned utilities, CPS Energy and SAWS, frequently hold events to inform the public of issues that may be of importance or to provide information regarding programs such as utility assistance programs that might help customers to lower their bills. Information regarding these outreach events can be found on the CPS Energy website or on the SAWS website.

Energy Grid Outages

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages scheduling of an electric grid that carries 85% of Texas’ load. The ERCOT website provides information regarding the grid and key measures relating to its operation. CPS customers can also find information regarding local outages on the CPS Energy website.