Sec. 44. Contract Work. In the erection, improvement and repair of all public buildings and works, in all street and sewer work, or in or about embankments or other works for the protection against overflow, and in furnishing any supplies or materials for the same, when the expenditure required for the same shall equal or exceed the sum provided by the state Contract Act for the letting of bids by the state Department of Transportation or shall exceed such lower amount as the Council may provide, the same shall be done by contract and shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder, after notice by publication in the official newspaper;
Provided that the Council may reject any and all bids presented and may re-advertise in their discretion; and Provided further, that after rejecting bids the Council may declare and determine by a five-sevenths vote of all its members that in its opinion the work in question may be more economically or satisfactorily performed by day labor, or the materials or supplies purchased at a lower price in the open market, and after the adoption of a resolution to this effect, they may proceed to have the same done in the manner stated without further observance of the foregoing provisions of this section; and
Provided further, that in case of a great public calamity, such as an extraordinary fire, flood, storm, epidemic or other disaster, the Council may, by resolution passed by a vote of five-sevenths of all its members, declare and determine that public interest and necessity demand the immediate expenditure of public money to safeguard life, health or property, and thereupon may proceed to expend or enter into a contract involving the expenditure of any sum required for such emergency.
In the employment of labor by contract or day work, preference shall be given so far.