New York

Letters to the Editor for Monday, May 11

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Rely on experts for reopening economy

I read with interest Tom Minnick’s May 7 letter (“No more delays on reopening economy”) demanding that all business and government open now.
I googled the author to review his public health credentials. Strangely, I found none. I believe I, and the true experts, will pass on this sage advice.
Michael Fondacaro
Albany

Open churches to help people cope

There are times when our faith is drawn upon and needed more in depth than other times.
With the challenges everyone has faced these past few months, our need for faith runs deep.
So why are the churches closed and the Masses ceased? So many find complete comfort in the building itself and all it represents. The Mass unifies and fills the soul for many.
Open the churches to Mass. They are large enough for social distancing, block every other pew or row. Make adjustments to stay safe.  
Allow those who find solace in the Word of God, the song, and the gathering to find that comfort and peace again.
Marilyn Chew
Charlton

To save money on work, remove PLA

Assemblyman Chris Tague voiced his concerns regarding the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on the I-88 project. He identified that not only would local contractors be hurt, but the cost of the project would be higher. Gov. Cuomo, during a daily press conference, agreed that adding cost isn’t possible stating, “…the state is not in a position to give any more subsidies…”. Yet a PLA is exactly that, a subsidy.
A PLA forces a contractor to hire the majority of their workers from the union hall. Imagine if you owned a company and were told that the majority of your employees couldn’t work on a project. Therefore, many contractors refuse to bid PLA work. What’s worse? The PLA is a give back, a subsidy, by the government to help assist underfunded pensions.
As a result of the PLA, the number of contractors bidding on this project will be reduced significantly. A study by Dr. Paul Carr, P.E. of Cornell, studied nearly 300 PLA projects in New York. He conclusively found that a lower the number of bidders leads to a higher project cost.
Conversely, the more bidders the lower the bid price. In fact, the difference between three and five bidders is nearly 5% of the total project cost.
New York state cannot afford to increase project costs when we face a potential $20 billion deficit. To avoid punishing the taxpayer, the state needs to remove the PLA and let the most cost-effective bid, union or non-union, win.
Tanner Schmidt
Latham
The writer is the Associated Builders & Contractors Empire State Membership Director. 

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