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Small Local Business Enterprise Program Expanded for Select Water Services Projects

New Program Will Increase Opportunities for Small Businesses in Kansas City Area

(Kansas City, Mo.) – The City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Water Services and Human Relations Departments are excited to announce a new program that will enable eligible small businesses to expand their participation in Kansas City contracting opportunities. Development of the Small Local Business Enterprise Water Services Department Engineering Professional Service (SLBE – WSDEPS) Program is the result of a coordinated effort between the City’s Water Services and Human Relations Departments to provide new opportunities for small businesses to gain valuable experience as prime consultants on select engineering design contracts. The City Council’s support of this program was instrumental and resulted in formal program authorization in May.

“With the anticipated increase in design professional services contracts for the Overflow Control Program and other capital projects over the next ten to twenty years, this program will provide a unique business expansion opportunity,” said Terry Leeds, Director of Kansas City Water Services. “Water Services is pleased to be a partner in this program expansion; providing opportunities for small businesses to be prime contractors for upcoming design professional contracts is a win for Kansas City.”

“This is an important step forward to help promote the expansion of small businesses in Kansas City,” said Phillip Yelder, Director of Human Relations. “Small businesses are an essential element to local workforce development in our area. We are excited to expand this program to allow more firms to acquire prime contracting work, facilitating company growth.”

The City’s expanded SLBE program is designed to foster small business growth through the creation of a sheltered market. The program operates in a race and gender neutral environment and is designed to include only the professional services disciplines associated with architectural, engineering, and related design services for select Water Services projects. The successful small business awardees will function as the prime consultant and will not be required to meet minority and women participation goals.

The Human Relations Department is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the program. Collaborating with Water Services, eligible design contracts will be identified for the SLBE – WSDEPS program each fiscal year. Design professional projects for this fiscal year have already been identified and Requests For Qualifications and Proposals for some of these projects are expected to be issued in early September.

Qualifying firms must be for profit, must be located within the seven-county Kansas City metropolitan area, and cannot be an affiliate of another firm. The firm’s average gross receipts over the past three years must be less than $7 million, and the firm must comply with other SLBE certification provisions. Interested firms are encouraged to apply for SLBE – WSDEPS program certification by contacting the Human Relations Department.

Program participants must submit an application to become certified prior to submitting a proposal to Water Services for future design projects advertised as part of the SLBE – WSDEPS program. Only firms pre-certified by the Human Relations Department will be eligible for project awards.

For more information or to apply for program certification, please contact Diane Hawkins at 816-513-1810 or, or Mark Runge at 816-513-1811 or, in the Human Relations Department or by downloading the SLBE application at: .

For information about Kansas City Water Services, please contact Jennifer Kincaid, Media Relations Coordinator, at 816-513-0284 or


The Kansas City, Mo., Water Services Department maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. Water Services is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

Visit Water Services online at

Follow Water Services on Twitter @kcmowater.

City News Releases - 2013

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