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Purchasing Department

The Purchasing Department's primary objective is to timely provide or assist staff in obtaining quality materials or services at cost effective prices. We recognize that vendors are the experts in providing new and better products and methods, and encourage them to share their knowledge and expertise.

  • Timely provide or assist staff in obtaining quality materials at cost effective prices.
  • Increase productivity by maintaining an available inventory of supplies needed in quantity or needed by multiple departments.
  • Be responsive to employees and vendors by staying informed of regulations, technology and methodology changes, and maintenance of a source library.
  • Gain the maximum value from surplus property and materials.
  • Insure public trust by accurately accounting for inventory supplies.
  • Consider our ratepayers as our first priority while performing all services professionally, efficiently and safely.


Delivery Hours

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



The District's purchasing process is departmentalized or partially decentralized meaning that employees from other departments can buy and obligate funds. For a list of applicable employees and their authority limits, see the Purchasing Authority List.

Overall, ordering limits are as follows:

  • Supervisors can obligate up to $2,000
  • Managers up to $5,000
  • Engineering Department Manager $ 10,000
  • Chief Financial Officer up to $10,000
  • General Manager up to $75,000
  • Board of Directors above $75,000

Policy & Procedures

Staff may make purchases totaling up to $1000 from local businesses and also use purchasing cards without providing a purchase order number. All other orders require purchase orders. Purchases over $15,000 must be authorized by the District Board of Directors. Many of those purchases will also require public bidding procedures as outlined in the California Public Contracts Codes.

The District utilizes cooperative purchasing agreements whenever possible and appropriate to maximize purchasing power and reduce transaction costs. Some examples of co-op agreements include the California Department of General Services' (publicly bid) agreement for vehicles, or the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance contract for office supplies. For additional information regarding the law, go to http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/


Employees are prohibited from placing themselves in a position where their actions or personal interest may be in conflict with those of the District. They are prohibited from giving or accepting gifts, gratuities, or personal items from vendors when directly or indirectly offered as a result of the their position with the District.

How to Do Business with the District

If you would like to do business with the District, introduce yourself by submitting company contact information and an explanation of your business specialty to the Purchasing Department. You may choose the format which you prefer - send a line card, catalog, or letter, and/or contact the District's Purchasing Agent by phone, in person, or email. One simple way to introduce and register your company is to complete and submit the District's Vendor Application Form.

Opportunities to quote prices for inventory items are available by asking. (Inventories of plumbing supplies, shop supplies, small tools, safety equipment, and office supplies are kept on hand.) For less common purchases, every attempt is made to match previously-introduced vendors to current District needs. While the District recognizes your time and literature as a very valuable resource, it can make no guarantees that your company will be contacted.

If your firm requires additional information to add the District as a customer, request our prepared Credit Application Form.

District's Purchase Order Terms and Conditions

Formal Bids

Formal bids are solicited by either the Purchasing Department or the Engineering Department. To see a list of currently advertised bids and recently evaluated or awarded bids, see the Bid Info section.


It is also the responsibility of the Purchasing Department to sell or dispose of the District's surplus equipment. Surplus is defined as useable equipment which is no longer needed or which is uneconomical to maintain for the District. Every surplus item with an estimated value of $1,000 or more requires authorization for its sale/disposal method from the District's Board of Directors. The Purchasing Agent sells or disposes of other items with the Chief Financial Officer's approval. Costs and returns are considered in determining the best method for sale or disposal; and manufacturer restocking, trade-in, reseller quotes, specialty sales, and donations* are considered along with public sales. The District does not sell its surplus to employees unless the employees are the highest bidders at advertised public sales.

Currently, most vehicles and large equipment are sold at public auction by TNT Auction Inc., a professional commercial auctioneer firm. For further information about TNT Auction Inc., see their web site at TNT Auction Inc..

*The Board of Directors has authorized a donation program for surplus items that have in the past received only nominal returns (defined as $200 or less). Donations may be made to public or government agencies in the State of California, and civic, community, or non-profit organizations in the Tahoe Basin or Alpine County. Other donations may be considered when a public purpose is served within the District's jurisdiction. If you would like to register your group/agency for the District's donation program, complete the Request for Surplus Equipment form. Currently, most surplus computers are donated.

We welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions.