West Seneca Special Town Board Meeting Minutes 08/04/2008
Supervisor Wallace C. Piotrowski called the meeting to order at 7:10 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Absent - None
ITEM NO #1 BID AWARD FOR ICE RINK ABATEMENT PROJECT
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to approve the bid award to A.A.C. Contracting, Inc., 175 Humboldt St., Rochester, NY in the amount of $188,582 on the recommendation of Jonathan Solomon, Building Science Investigations, the town consultant on this project who is familiar with A.A.C. Contracting, Inc, and its work. This is under the Ice Rink Abatement Project. Job I-0809, and authorize the Supervisor to execute the necessary documents.
Motion by Councilwoman Bove, seconded by Councilman Clarke, to amend the motion and authorize Councilman Vincent J. Graber, Jr. to enter into a contract with a consultant on the mold abatement, not to exceed $4,000. and further authorize Councilman Graber to enter into a contract with a contractor or contractors to mitigate the mold at a cost not to exceed $188,000 with a guarantee that the work must be completed by September 1.
On the question, Councilman Graber asked for clarification that he was also given authorization to commence the mold abatement by Jonathan Solomon by next Monday in the event the expectations of another consultant proved incorrect.
Councilwoman Bove stated that was correct. Councilman Graber was able to work with a contractor or contractors for a contract not to exceed $188,000. In the event it was not less than that, then Councilman Graber had the ability to go with the original contractor for $188,000, as long as there was a guarantee that the work is completed by September 1st, that the hockey players will be able to play at the town facility, and the season will be open on time.
Supervisor Piotrowski questioned Town Engineer George Montz on the feasibility of opening the rink by September 1st.
Mr. Montz stated September 1st was the target date set in the proposal.
Supervisor Piotrowski clarified that the proposal referred to by Mr. Montz was the one received from Jonathan Solomon.
Mr. Montz stated that was correct.
Supervisor Piotrowski asked Councilman Graber if his contractor would be able to get the work done under that time frame.
Councilman Graber stated it was not his contractor. There are approximately 20 contractors in Western New York that deal with mold abatement on a daily basis. The emergency provisions of State law allowing the town to solicit alternative bids will be followed. One of the conditions of any proposal would be a guarantee that the work will be completed by September 1st.
On the amended motion,
ITEM #2 PHILLIP BADAME PROJECT, 2437 BERG ROAD
Phillip Badame stated he owns a piece of property to the rear of 2437 Berg Road, one-third of an acre in size and landlocked. The land had been developed into a parking area, was fenced, and drainage was put in. He would like to offer this area to town residents for parking of RV’s, motor homes and boats. It was currently being used by some town residents, including the Boy Scouts who park a trailer there, a State Trooper, and a town Police Officer. He was requesting that the property be rezoned to C-2 for parking purposes only. There will be no vertical construction on the property and it did not affect anyone.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to refer the Phillip Badame project, 2437 Berg Road, to the Planning Board for consideration.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON ICE ABATEMENT PROJECT
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to allow thirty minutes of public comment with a cap of one minute per speaker.
Dick Lynch, 12 Nina Terrace, President of West Seneca Youth Hockey Association, stated the current situation was now well into its 11th hour and there was no turning back. A positive resolution was needed tonight in order to go forward with the cleanup of the facility and resurfacing of the ice. The Association was not placing the blame on anyone, but the kids needed a place to play now.
Councilwoman Bove clarified that the resolution passed tonight calls for the hockey season to begin September 1st.
Gary Bensman, 88 Cedar Ridge Drive, stated he is an engineer and works on government programs all the time. If the town was able to contract with someone to do the work and blindly commit to September 1st without escape clauses, that was an outstanding feat. There were always unseen issues and to guarantee the work would be done at one-third of the cost without visiting the site and without doing their own testing was unrealistic. Some of the tests take time to cultivate the cultures. Unless a contractor puts this guarantee in writing, the project will wind up in court.
Councilman Graber responded that the $188,000 contract contains nothing in writing as to a guaranteed finish date.
Mr. Bensman responded that if he were the contractor, he wouldn’t give a date either. He would give the best date, but there may be things that are missed. The rink was large and it may not happen. To bring someone else in claiming to complete the work by a certain date, and be able to do it for one-third the cost without the benefit of testing, was not realistic.
Kathleen Trimper, 600 Union Road, stated she wanted to clarify up front that she is the sister-in-law of Supervisor Piotrowski. She questioned why it was so difficult every time the five people on the board get together to get anything done. Ms. Trimper noted she has not heard from Councilman Clarke for two meetings.
Councilman Clarke stated his results will show in the end and referred to the present comments as a circus act. Councilman Clarke stated he has contributed and will continue to contribute considerable time on the ice rink issue.
Jamie Schrier, 281 North Avenue, stated he has heard a lot of good arguments today, but when it was time to put something on the line, the town took a step back. During the discussion at the last meeting on downsizing the board, it was suggested that a consultant be brought in to show all the great things that have been done by board members. There was no issue about the cost to the taxpayer for this service. The community was asking for the abatement to be done and believes, according to remarks made by Councilman Graber, that if the town takes the secondary route, we may find ourselves in a position with the original contractor and with a window that extends beyond the September 1st date.
Rick Licursi, 31 Nina Terrace, stated he was embarrassed by what has gone on at tonight’s meeting. The Board had an opportunity to do the right thing in front of all the children present to show what government can do to rectify the situation. It may now cost more money and the town was gambling with the future of the ice rink.
Dick Marini, 129 Barnsdale, stated he has been involved in the Association for a number of years. The problem with the ice rink began years ago and past Boards did nothing to resolve the issue. The current Board is now faced with the brunt of the problem and a new meaning to the word emergency. Emergency means getting the problem solved, but what was being done tonight was prolonging the emergency.
Barbara Tobias, 33 Molnar, stated that as a taxpayer she was alarmed that the town freely gives money to Americorps when it cannot spend the money to fix the ice rink for the kids in this community. She hoped that if the town spends $4000 on a different consultant who may not be able to finish the rink by September 1st, that the opening of the rink is not delayed because of the Board’s inaction.
Jim Zimmer, 200 Tampa Drive, questioned Councilman Graber why he did not trust Mr. Montz to do his job, but instead superseded his judgment by going out on his own and soliciting someone else. Highway Supt. Patrick Finnegan and everyone else involved were on board with this consultant who did everything that was necessary.
Chris Roberts, 59 Onondaga, stated he and his children had the honor to use the ice rink in the past and were disturbed by the Board’s action tonight. He had 20 years experience in purchasing and could find a number of vendors to give a better price once the winning award was announced. It was unfair to the vendor mentioned tonight and if the town goes down that road, he hoped it would not wind up having to pay Mr. Solomon for the work already performed and compound the problem. Mr. Roberts urged the Board to reconsider its vote and commence the cleanup work on the ice rink now.
Councilman Graber noted that Jonathan Solomon told the town which bidders he would allow to bid on the project. The town did not go out to bid on the project, so Mr. Robert’s comment that this was the lowest bid was not correct.
Michael Morris, 214 Laurelton Drive, commented on the last meeting when everyone was in a battle for self preservation and the seriousness of the situation was known at that time, yet Councilman Graber wanted to change the proposals for additional bids. An entire week of time was wasted and he felt it was unfair to the children’s season and the possible future of hockey.
Frank Tobias, 12 Hazel Court, stated he has been involved in hockey for over thirty years. He was one of the originators of the Southtowns YMCA and now coaches his grandchildren here in West Seneca. He was proud of his grandchildren and the Hockey Association. The Town Board owed it to them to get the problem resolved as soon as possible. He felt there were a number of people present tonight who were unclear as to exactly what the Board’s resolution called for.
Supervisor Piotrowski noted the resolution was for Councilman Graber to obtain a consultant who will go into the ice rink to do testing. Once the testing results are provided, Councilman Graber will then contact a contractor who will do the work for less than $188.000. If he is unable to accomplish that after hiring that consultant, then he will hire the contractor A.A.C. to do the work for the $188,000.
Councilman Graber added that the Board voted to clean the ice rink. It was open to speculation whether or not that could be accomplished by the September 1st deadline. A lot of people have been complaining and he understands their frustration. In the event the town was able to get the work done at a substantially reduced price and ready for September 1st, he was unsure if those same people would then admit that the Board’s plan was correct. Councilman Graber invited anyone to contact him on this issue.
Megan Roberts asked what the Town Board plans to do when all the kids in town have nothing to do on a Friday night. The West Seneca hockey rink offers many opportunities for teenagers to get together. As a future taxpayer, she encouraged the Board to approve the funds to get the rink cleaned up.
Michael Giacobello, 18 Cathedral Drive, stated he would like to see the spec sheet for the level of mold so that when the town pays another $4,000, he will be able to see how much the level has gone up for the last four months with the building closed. Mr. Giacobello asked what has been done to secure the building; if it has been aired out or just locked up.
Councilman Graber stated that he and Steve Amoia, Crew Chief for Buildings & Grounds, stopped at the ice rink today. There was an individual there at the time whose identity was unknown to him, but the person did state there was a mold abatement expert in West Seneca who was intentionally excluded from the bid. This unknown individual indicated the walk through was at the behalf of Councilman Clarke and it was his professional opinion that the mold problem was not as bad as it was being made out to be.
Mr. Giacobello responded that the culture will speak for itself. The culture will determine the price of what is going to get rid of the mold. When the building is re-cultured, that level has to be at an acceptable amount so that people can go in and breathe.
Councilman Graber stated it will be certified that there are no safety concerns for people entering the rink.
Zachary Klinko stated that the kids just wanted to play hockey and asked why the Board couldn’t accept that.
Mike Radder stated that he sent an email to all Board members and thanked Councilwoman Bove who was the only one to respond. From listening to the Town Attorney, Mr. Solomon was highly recommended and an expert. He received information from clearly objective sources of his expertise. Mr. Solomon did a walk through, performed a thorough job of analyzing the situation and was paid some type of set fee. Whoever gets the work is irrelevant to Mr. Solomon. He made a recommendation for a contractor who could do the work for a reasonable amount of money and to the town’s specifications. The Board chose not to do that. Now the Board was talking about a referendum for potentially rehabilitating the facility or building another rink, possibly a twin rink. It was his concern that another consultant will be hired who comes up with a recommendation and at the 11th hour the Board may decide to put it out to bid to another set of contractors.
Katie Gavin, 23 Cathedral Drive, noted she did email the Board members and Councilman Graber did respond. However, the Town Board just wasted another $4000. Instead of Board members talking about how much money they have saved the town, she wanted to know how many times the Board has changed a resolution and spent more money.
Councilwoman Bove stated she felt some of the audience may have missed the point of tonight’s discussion. The children want to play hockey and every Board member wants them to play hockey. When the floor is fired up, they will be playing hockey. In the event it sprouts a leak, and those leaks have to be taken care of, that is different, but what was decided here is that the children will be playing hockey.
Supervisor Piotrowski noted that this work could have been started last Wednesday and some of these children’s parents have the right to ask for a return of their deposits.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Mr. Graber, to adjourn to Executive Session (7:40 p.m.).
The Town Board returned at 7:55 p.m.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Mr. Clarke, to adjourn the meeting (8:00 p.m.).
PATRICIA C. DePASQUALE, RMC/CMC