Second Causeway up for bids again on technicality

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Bids for repair of erosion at the Second Causeway will be reintroduced because the Town failed to advertise in a trade paper.

The erosion control and repair project long planned for the Second Causeway this winter will be delayed because the state Department of Transportation has rejected the town’s bidding process for the state-funded work.

The town, which received three bids for the job ranging from $376,670 to $639,000 late this fall, did not advertise the job in the New York State Contract Reporter, placing it only in the Shelter Island Reporter. The DOT requires bids to be advertised in the statewide publication if state funds will be used.

The DOT also asked for clarification of the town’s grounds for rejecting one bidder, South Fork Asphalt, as unqualified. It was the low bidder. The town awarded the bid to Corazzini Asphalt Inc., the next lowest bidder at a price of $507,822.50. It rejected the bid of Chesterfield Associates, Inc. for $639,000.

Public Works Commissioner Jay Card briefly discussed the problem with the Town Board at its work session Tuesday. He said the bidding process would have to be repeated, with an ad seeking bids to run in the Shelter Island Reporter January 3, 2013. Bids would be opened on January 25 and submitted to the DOT for review “that day,” Mr. Card said.

The town will award the bid “following approval by the DOT,” he added.

The project calls for reinforcing the Coecles Harbor beachfront with stone gambions, covering them with sand, relandscaping and replanting the area and repaving the road.

Also on Tuesday, the Town Board gave Mr. Card the go-ahead to replace four old porcelain sinks in the patient visitation rooms of the two doctors’ offices in the town medical center for $2,400. Mr. Card said he had discovered that the sinks were “pretty hideous” and felt it was his job to replace them.

Board members agreed the town should pay for the work even though its leases do not make clear the sinks are the town’s responsibility. Supervisor Jim Dougherty took the occasion to mention complaints — which he’s brought up before — he’s heard from residents who say one of the tenants, Island Urgent Care, is not providing adequate coverage. Noting that he was “under the impression we’re not getting great service,” even though individual staffers there were doing “a great job,” he asked Mr. Card why the town was taking on the job if the tenants hadn’t asked for it. Mr. Card said he’d noticed the problem while in the building for other reasons and it was his job to maintain the town’s infrastructure.

Also at Tuesday’s brief work session, the board reviewed a proposed policy, drafted by the town’s Emergency Medical Services Committee, for determining credits and individual Length of Service Awards payments to active members of the town ambulance corps.

Next year, 2013, will be the first one in which the town will be making payments under the program, which voters approved by a lopsided 180-13 margin last August.

Supervisor Dougherty praised the committee and the EMS volunteers for drafting a tough policy that Town Attorney Laury Dowd said was “a good balance” of “being careful” with the taxpayers’ money and “the needs of the EMS workers.”

The board was expected to adopt the policy at its next regular meeting on Thursday, December 27 at 1 p.m.