Amsterdam Common Council votes to pay contractor $50K less for Church St. project

The Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pay the contractor for the Church Street reconstruct
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The Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pay the contractor for the Church Street reconstruction project about $50,000 less than billed following a recommendation by the city’s engineering firm, McDonald Engineering.

The $300,000 authorized is $53,256 less than what DelSignore Blacktop and Paving Inc. billed the city for curbing, sidewalk and repairs to catch basins completed on Church Street in the fall.

After reviewing the contractor’s work and speaking with company representatives, John McDonald of McDonald Engineering said the project should have cost between $270,000 and $315,000 if it were to go out to bid. McDonald did say DelSignore was pushed to finish the job quickly and worked overtime on Saturdays.

McDonald said representatives from DelSignore stand by their figures.

They were not present at Tuesday’s meeting and could not be reached afterward.

The Common Council voted at the beginning of March to pay DelSignore the $353,256 billed, but on the advice of city Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis, who believed that the city could negotiate a lower price for the work, Mayor Anne Thane vetoed the aldermen’s initial decision late last month.

A bipartisan resolution to override the mayor’s veto, sponsored by Aldermen Joseph Isabel, R-1st Ward, William Wills, D-4th Ward, and Richard Leggiero, R-5th Ward, was taken off the table after the council decided to pay DelSignore $300,000.

Council members also learned Tuesday that the city will not be reimbursed $270,000 by the state as anticipated for the performed Church Street work because state Department of Transportation requirements for grant money weren’t followed, according to Alderwoman Kim Brumley, C-3rd Ward.

The Church Street reconstruction project was originally budgeted at $416,000. City officials intended to tap a state multimodal grant for $270,000, a state highway improvement program for $140,000 and make up the $6,000 difference with city money.

The Church Street project has yet to be completed. According to DeCusatis, representatives from McDonald Engineering are finishing bid specifications for completion of the project, which is expected to cost an additional $360,000.

City officials say they expect the $270,000 state grant will be available for the additional work. Thane said steps were being taken in city government to ensure that an oversight of this nature does not happen again.

“The one blessing that came out of this whole situation is that it has heightened the awareness of the Common Council and the city’s staff,” Thane said.

The Common Council also set fees for the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

All rates are increasing. Alderman Daniel Roth, R-2nd Ward, and liaison to the city’s golf course commission, said rates had not increased in two years.

All membership rates, which range from $600 to $1,010, will increase by $25. Greens fees, which range from $21 to $28 for 18 holes, will see various category adjustments.

Isabel was the only council member to oppose the fee hikes. He said he didn’t agree to the fees because a consultant was not used to establish whether these rates will help move the golf course in the right direction.

By using these fees, golf course superintendent Jim Derrick said, the commission expects to generate $540,000 in revenue and use $70,000 of fund balance to balance its $610,000 budget.

Categories: Schenectady County

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