Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report May 17, 2017
Downtown Infrastructure/Streetscape Bid Contract Awarded to ELQ Industries, Inc.
On May 9, 2017, the Town Board voted to award the Downtown Infrastructure/Streetscape Project to ELQ Industries, Inc., a construction company located in New Rochelle, NY. (Click here to view the resolution.) This project will accomplish the much-needed repair, replacement and upgrading of critical infrastructure systems in our downtown business hamlet, including sanitary sewer, stormwater, water mains and roadways. The project also includes streetscape improvements: new lighting, sidewalks, curbing and landscaping. Residents can look forward to new wider sidewalks, attractive new public spaces, new crosswalks and traffic/parking improvements. In short, the project will make it safer and more enjoyable to walk around our downtown, and finally provide us with an infrastructure platform that allows our downtown to grow and prosper.
Here is an overview of the process that resulted in the contract being awarded to ELQ, together with links to relevant documentation about the project.
On Friday, April 21, 2017, the Town of New Castle conducted the scheduled and publicly noticed bid opening for the Downtown Infrastructure/Streetscape Project. Town Engineer Bob Cioli, members of the Town Clerk’s office, as well as representatives of WSP Engineering (the Town’s engineering consultant) and Boswell Engineering (the Town’s construction manager) were in attendance to oversee the process. Others in attendance included Town Comptroller Rob Deary and Deputy Supervisor Adam Brodsky.
Although WSP had estimated that the total cost of the Downtown Infrastructure/Streetscape Project would run $10.5 million, the five bids received by the Town ranged from $14 million to $19 million (40% to 90% over WSP’s estimate). WSP immediately took all bids and began compiling their individual price components (238 line items for each of the 5 separate bidders) into a comprehensive spreadsheet for further analysis. WSP’s next step involved checking the data for correct units, unit costs and computations.
Town staff received WSP’s spreadsheet on Tuesday, April 25, together with a 3-page memo from WSP analyzing the bid results. WSP concluded that ELQ’s bids were acceptable and therefore ELQ was the lowest responsible bidder.
At this point, pursuant to New York State law, the Town had three options: (1) reject all 5 bids and re-bid the project, (2) award the contract to ELQ for $14 million, or (3) negotiate in good faith with ELQ in an effort to reduce project costs.
The next day, Wednesday, April 26, Town staff met with Boswell Engineering to identify items of streetscape work that could be most easily removed from the project from a technical standpoint. Thereafter, Town staff continued to review ELQ’s bid for items of streetscape work that could be pared down or eliminated. In the end, Boswell and Town staff proposed reductions to streetscape work totaling approximately $2.1 million.
Boswell Engineering then prepared a spreadsheet itemizing the recommended streetscape reductions. Boswell also prepared annotated spec sheets illustrating the areas of reduced streetscape work.
On May 1, these recommendations were presented to the Town Board for discussion in Executive Session. Bob Cioli, Rob Deary and Chris Nash of Boswell Engineering also met with the Town Board in Executive Session to present the recommendations and answer questions. The Town Board then authorized Boswell to negotiate with ELQ with respect to pricing for the scaled-down streetscape project.
On May 5, the Town Board received additional breakdowns showing where the streetscape savings would be realized. Town staff also spot checked WSP’s quantity estimates for key materials such as granite curbing and piping for water, sewer and drainage. Each quantity checked was within 1%-2% over the actual amount calculated for the project, which is exactly where the figures should have been. Click here to read the quantity check. The Board was also informed that Boswell had negotiated ELQ’s contract down to approximately $11.6 million and that while negotiations were continuing, the contract was expected to be ready for a vote on May 9.
Some residents have asked why this information could not have been made available to the public sooner. The answer is that we needed Boswell to be able to negotiate the best possible deal for the Town, while keeping open the possibly of rebidding the project. Accordingly, we couldn’t be an “open book” in terms of announcing our negotiating strategy and releasing all of the bids results and analyses that were being done. That would not have served the best interests of our residents. That’s why the Open Meetings Law allows this type of information to remain nonpublic until a contract is awarded. So we worked closely with Boswell and gave them cost parameters for negotiating with ELQ.
We also wanted to move quickly. We’re under a tight schedule to complete the installation of a new water main before the onset of winter weather. The work is expected to take 5 months, so we need to start at the beginning of June.
The total amount of the contract is $11.6 million. The streetscape portion of the project has been reduced from approximately 32% to 22% of the total project costs. The Town Comptroller has expressed confidence that at $11.6 million, the Town can complete the project without breaking the tax cap. Click here to see the Funding for Prosposed Infrastructure & Captial projects presentation.
I would like to thank Deputy Town Supervisor Adam Brodsky for chairing the Streetscape Committee and leading this massive effort. I would also like to thank the members of the Streetscape Committee: Robert Schenkel, Beth Hundgen, Phyllis Furnari, Dana Berk and Monica De Janosi.
I would also like to thank our incredible Town staff for their help. Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, Comptroller Rob Deary, Robert Cioli, our Town Engineer, Sabrina Charney Hull, our Director of Planning and Steve Coleman, our Environmental Coordinator.
National Police Week
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The week in which that date falls is Police Week, and we honor those police officers have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This week, we also recognize our police officers. Every day, our officers here in New Castle put their lives on the line to protect us. Last year, our police officers responded to over twenty calls a day from our community. They do their job with courtesy and respect. Keep in mind, that every call that involves a possible crime in a residence or in a business brings with it the fear of the unknown and of potential danger. Every vehicle stop must be and is conducted professionally but with caution. Our officers do their job, regardless of the risk. We see our police officers at community events, at Town functions and at school events. We are safer because they are prepared. We value their efforts, their training, their patience. This week we are honored to recognize their efforts to keep our community safe. They deserve our thanks and support every week.
Two Great New Events this Weekend Join our Annual 10K/5K Run!
A great way to get active on a Sunday morning, bring the kids, the family, your neighbors and your pooch to our first ever Paws Walk. This short 1/2 mile stroll is a will be a lot of fun. Each dog gets a small gift. Thank you to our title sponsor Wags and Whiskers.
Kids Fun Run
With the help of our friends at World Cup Gymnastics we have put together a unique Kids Fun Run that will challenge our youngest runner’s agility, balance and endurance as they run through our obstacle course that includes two giant inflatables. Perfect for kids ages 5-12. The Fun Run will be open from 8:30am-10:30am and kids can run the course as many times as they like. Thank you to our title sponsor Platinum Drive Realty.
Annual 10K/5K Run
Online registration ends Wednesday. Onsite registration available starting the morning of the race at 6:30am at Town Hall. Come run in the challenging New Castle 10K or the more gentle 5K. Bring friends and family for an active morning in New Castle. To register click on the image to the right. Bib Pick up opens at 6:30am, race starts at 8:10am. Both races start and finish at Town Hall. For course maps, click here. Get a free photo after the race in our Photo.