Published: Mar 08, 2011 12:37 AM EST
Updated: Mar 07, 2011 9:37 PM EST

CAPE CORAL- Cape Coral City Councilmembers are discussing a plan to give local contractors preference when it comes to construction projects.

Mayor John Sullivan drafted the ordinance.

It's gaining a lot of support from local construction companies.

"Instead of the money leaving the area it would stay locally," said Ron Schmitt, owner of Ron Schmitt Construction.

If this new ordinances moves forward, local companies like Ron's would flourish.

"Local contractors like myself, we pay taxes, rent, whatever. I think it would pump the money back into the local economy," he said.

The proposed ordinance gives local construction companies a chance to match lower bids from competition outside Lee County.

For instance, if a builder from Orlando said they could do a project for $2 million dollars, but a company in the Cape said they could do it for $3 million, this new ordinance will allow the local company to re-bid at a lower rate.

If one local company can't go lower, the chance falls to the next local contractor.

The bid price can not exceed the non-local bidder's price by more than the following percentages:

Main Business Office in the City of Cape Coral: 10%

Regional Office in the City of Cape Coral: 7.5%

Main Business Office in Lee County: 5%

Regional office in Lee County: 2.5%

This way companies all over Lee County have a chance.

"When construction took it's hit, the whole community took a hit. If we can get construction back on course, it's one of the first steps to get back on track," said Jeremy Johnson.

Jeremy Johnson works for Sandbill Construction and is also President of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association.

He believes moving forward with this ordinance will rebuild Cape Coral's construction industry, which would creating more jobs and keeping money in the city.

On Monday, councilors are only discussing the idea.

A public hearing will be held at the end of the month.

Council members have not set a date to vote on the ordinance.