(a) No project or infrastructure project acquired, constructed, maintained or financed, in whole or in part, by the water development authority shall be considered to be a "public improvement" within the meaning of the provisions of article five-a, chapter twenty-one of this code as a result of the financing.
(b) The state and its subdivisions shall, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, solicit competitive bids and require the payment of prevailing wage rates as provided in article five-a, chapter twenty-one of this code for every project or infrastructure project funded pursuant to this article exceeding $25,000 in total cost.
Following the solicitation of the bids, the construction contract shall be awarded to the lowest qualified responsible bidder, who shall furnish a sufficient performance and payment bond: Provided, That the state and its subdivisions may reject all bids and solicit new bids on the project.
(c) This section does not:
(1) Apply to work performed on construction or repair projects not exceeding a total cost of $50,000 by regular full-time employees of the state or its subdivisions: Provided, That no more than $50,000 shall be expended on an individual project in a single location in a twelve-month period;
(2) Prevent students enrolled in vocational educational schools from being used in the construction or repair projects when such use is a part of the students' training program;
(3) Apply to emergency repairs to building components and systems: Provided, That the term "emergency repairs" means repairs that, if not made immediately, will seriously impair the use of the building components and systems or cause danger to those persons using the building components and systems; or
(4) Apply to any situation where the state or a subdivision of the state comes to an agreement with volunteers, or a volunteer group, by which the governmental body will provide construction or repair materials, architectural, engineering, technical or any other professional services and the volunteers will provide the necessary labor without charge to, or liability upon, the governmental body: Provided, That the total cost of the construction or repair projects does not exceed $50,000.
(d) The provisions of subsection (b) of this section do not apply to privately owned projects or infrastructure projects constructed on lands not owned by the state or a subdivision of the state.