The apparent low bidder was Titan Construction of White Plains with a bid of $2,099,183. In the first round, which was conducted through emergency bidding procedures, the low bidder was Mace Contracting of New Rochelle, a minority-owned business. Mace bid again in the second round but was not one of the three lowest bidders.
Legislators started raising questions after the emergency bid process was short circuited after the bids were opened and the bid amounts were announced. An opinion came down that the work didn’t qualify for emergency bidding and bids had to be received through the standard process.
“There is no reason why this job was not given to the low bidder,” said board Chairman Ken Jenkins after the first round of bidding.
Mace’s owner and others questioned the fairness of rebidding the work after the amounts in the first round were made public. Titan dropped its bid from $2,692,457 in the first round, the fifth highest. After Titan, the second highest bidder Wednesday was McNamee Construction of Lincolndale and the third was Foremen Construction of Peekskill.
“For us it was definitely disappointing,” said Vladimir Blaise of Mace, which has done other work at Playland, including the bathhouse and the Music Tower. “They put together a process we went through. They picked seven contractors. It was an open bid.”
Then, he said, “All of a sudden it as an illegal bid procedure.”
The boardwalk was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and the Board of Legislators in January authorized $7.6 million in bonds to rebuild and repair the north, south and Kiddyland boardwalks and the main pier at Playland along with lighting, sound systems, fencing and roofing. A second bond, for $4.9 million, will let the county fix the Ice Casino roof and boilers and do other structural work to the building.
The contract to fix the south boardwalk and pier is expected to be awarded to Titan Thursday by the Board of Acquisition and Contract. The park is to open May 11 and it’s not clear if the boardwalk will be ready by that day.
Also Thursday, County Executive Rob Astorino is holding a news conference to announce the management agreement with Sustainable Playland, which will take over the park.