Saratoga Springs chooses high bid for EMS / fire station project


SARATOGA SPRINGS – City Council awarded the long-awaited offer for the Eastern Fire Station and EMS Station to a Syracuse company that will charge nearly $ 250,000 more than the lowest bidder, sparking concerns among some employees of the town hall.

Construction Hueber-Breuer won unanimously the offer of $ 595,320 Tuesday night over three other lowest priced contractors: Sano-Rubin Construction Services at $ 350,962 and GYMO, DPC at $ 369,460 and Colliers Project Leaders USA NE at $ 430,500 .

“There were a number of bids and (Hueber-Breuer) was not the lowest bid,” said auditor John Franck, who introduced the motion on the awarding of bids at the time. Of the reunion. “But public security (department) wanted to go with (Hueber-Breuer), even though there were lower offers. They said that (the others) weren’t qualified to do it. It was their reasoning.

But a series of internal city emails show that there were concerns about the continuation of Hueber-Breuer’s offer for the position of project manager.

The city’s deputy purchasing agent Stefanie Richards told Deputy Fire Chief Aaron Dyer that she needed a rationale as to why the department was going with a higher bidder. Richards told her that she needed to “make sure we got everything covered for the listeners.”

“With this big price difference, we need details please,” Richards wrote to him.

She also wondered why GYMO had never been interviewed for the job because “they were second lowest”.

In another email, Karen Perrino of Public Safety urged Dyer to provide her with “some documentation / explanation as to why we are not going with the lowest bidders.”

Dyer, in an email to Perrino, said it was the decision of the building committee, which was made up of Dyer, Fire Chief Joseph Dolan, Deputy Police Chief John Catone and City Attorney Vincent DeLeonardis .

Marilyn Rivers, the city’s director of risk and security, was also worried.

In an email to DeLeonardis, she wrote “Considering the huge price difference in the responses received … I remain concerned about this situation. … Please confirm the process for reviewing the responses received and l The attribution of the offer is in no way violated. NYS OGS or NYS Comptroller Regulations. ”

The summary of the construction management offer indicated that Colliers and Sano-Rubin “have experience in building fire / EMS / emergency installations”. But he also noted that Hueber-Breuer has “the most relevant experience of any company that has submitted bids … This experience is invaluable for this project”.

Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton, who shared part of the document with the Times Union, said she did not want to comment further on the cost.

The city actually got six bids that meet all of the station’s requirements, two that were higher than C&L Contracting Corp’s Hueber-Breuer. at $ 721,248 and DCI Construction Management Services at $ 787,120.

Because Hueber-Breuer came on the high end, Franck said he would not have offered to accept the offer without the prior approval of city attorney DeLeonardis.

“I was called by the State on other contracts, specifies Franck. “I wouldn’t have moved on unless the city attorney signed it.”

DeLeonardis said all offers had been “thoroughly reviewed and duly considered” based on the criteria in the request for proposal.

“While cost is always an important factor, so too is experience and expertise and the assessments were appropriately based on all of the submissions and information provided during in-person interviews with the selected companies,” said writes DeLeonardis in an email to The Times. Union.

The city estimated the entire project at a cost of $ 6.7 million and was part of last year’s capital budget. On Tuesday, the city council also unanimously approved the deposit for the project, said Finance Commissioner Michèle Madigan, the money is there to pay for the construction.

The station, which Eastside residents have wanted for years, is expected to be a 16,000 square foot facility off Henning Road on state land bordering the Oklahoma racetrack practice track. of Saratoga.

Despite the envy of the station, which would be the third in the city, finding a location was difficult. In 2014, the city agreed to a three-way land deal to secure property on Union Avenue by selling a piece of city property on Broadway. However, the deal was cut short by the state’s attorney general in 2017 when it was revealed that the other two parties, Ben and Joel Aronson, were father and son.

This issue has not been fully resolved. In July 2020, Ben Aronson filed a complaint against the city, seeking to close the sale of 0.48 acre of land on Broadway to him, claiming the town had retained its deposit of $ 1,000.

That same month, the neighbors of the current proposed site, including Republican candidate for mayor Heidi Owen West, sued the city in an attempt to overturn the decision to build from Henning Road. Supreme Court Justice Ann Crowell dismissed the request, allowing the city to move forward with the station.

Although Dalton does not want to talk about costs, she issued a statement on the construction of the station, saying it will “allow the city to provide public safety cover for the long underserved Eastern Plateau.

“As Public Safety Commissioner, I will continue to work with board members and staff to ensure that nothing interferes with the completion of this project,” said Dalton, one of the three. mayoral candidates this fall. “The provision of long-needed services to our Saratogi compatriots is advancing at full speed and is closer than ever. “

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