(a) Except as provided in section ten-b of this article, bids for licenses shall be governed by the provisions of this section.
(b) The issuance of retail licenses shall be based on sealed competitive bids in accordance with the provisions of this section. Bids for the issuance of retail licenses shall be obtained by public notice published as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for the publication shall be each market zone within which a retail outlet shall be located. The second publication of the notice shall appear more than thirty days next preceding the final day for submitting bids.
(c) Each bid shall indicate the market zone for which the retail license is sought, whether the bid is for a Class A retail license or Class B retail license, and, if the board has created one or more designated areas for the market zone, whether the bid is for a Class A or Class B retail license to be issued for any designated area. No bid shall be altered or withdrawn after the appointed hour for the opening of the bids. Subject to the provisions of section ten-b of this article, each retail license shall be awarded to the highest bidder. No bid shall be considered unless the bond required under section eleven of this article is submitted to the commissioner. All bids for a retail license may be rejected by the board if the board determines that the highest bid is inadequate, in which event the commissioner shall begin anew the bidding process for that retail license.
(d) Each person desiring to submit a bid shall file the bid with the commissioner prior to the specified date and hour for the bid openings. The failure to deliver or the nonreceipt of a bid prior to the appointed date and hour constitutes sufficient reason for the rejection of a bid. After the award of the retail license, the commissioner shall indicate upon the successful bid that it was the successful bid. Thereafter, a copy of the bid and the bidder's application shall be maintained as a public record, shall be open to public inspection in the commissioner's office and shall not be destroyed without the written consent of the Legislative Auditor.
(e) Prior to the issuance of the retail license to the successful bidder, the bid price and the annual retail license fee, as specified in section twelve of this article, shall be paid to the commissioner by money order, certified check or cashier's check. All retail licenses shall be signed by the commissioner in the name of the state.
(f) If the successful bidder fails to pay to the commissioner the bid price and the annual retail license fee, at the time specified by the commissioner, the bond provided in section eleven of this article shall be forfeited and the bidder shall not be issued the retail license. The commissioner shall then issue the retail license to the next highest bidder for the retail license or reject all bids and start anew the bidding procedure for the retail license.