With the exception of very minor improvements, all public works projects are constructed by private contractors. The City hires these contractors through a competitive bidding process specified by State law and City ordinances. Notices of opportunities to bid on City contracts are published in a local newspaper and mailed to numerous builders exchanges. Sealed bids are opened at a specified time and the contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder who meets the requirements of the contract. Minor contracts (as defined by City ordinance) can be awarded by the City Manager, while major contracts must be awarded by the City Council.