Senior Center Should Re-Bid by February

Legislator says grant funding is secure

By Holly Crocco

After receiving three bids that were all over-budget for the construction of a senior center at the former Butterfield Hospital site in Cold Spring, Putnam County in November went back to the drawing board to re-scope the project.

The county plans to lease 6,000 square feet of space to operate a senior center in the Lahey Pavilion over a period of 15 years at a total cost of about $4.5 million, including rent, taxes, common area charges and renovation.

In 2016, the Legislature approved an $800,000 bond referendum for the initial costs to retrofit the space. A request for proposals was issued for the project, and of the three bids received, the lowest was $1.8 million.

The Lahey Pavilion and Building No. 2 (File photo by Michael Turton)

John Tully, the deputy commissioner of highways and facilities, explained at the Jan. 17 meeting of the Physical Services Committee that changes in the HVAC system have been made, and that the Highway Department stepped in to do demolition and “rough plumbing” to reduce the scope of the project put out to bid and get it back within budget.

The county spent about $7,500 on this work, said Tully. “Our target is by the end of the month to have that bid back out, repackaged,” he said.

Tully said the interior of the Lahey Pavilion is much different than when the project was first put out to bid. “It’s a real clean slate — a lot different than what the contractors saw when they did the walk-through the first time,” he said. “We’re crossing our fingers we’ll have a successful project here. We’re on the right track.”

Legislator Carl Albano (R-Carmel) complimented the Highway Department.

“We have a great workforce but there’s a lot to be done, so they do what they can and then we pick and choose our battles,” he said, explaining that certain projects such as the senior center are simply too large to be completed in-house. “In certain instances, we have to give out the work.”

Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra (R-Philipstown) said that, despite the delay because of the higher-than-expected bids, the $250,000 in state funds pledged by both State Sen. Sue Serino (R-Hyde Park) and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) are secure. “They’ve assured me that the grants are solid,” she said.

2 thoughts on “Senior Center Should Re-Bid by February

  1. I would like to know if there are any Putnam County licensed plumbers who work for the Highway Department who filed for a permit for the “rough plumbing” that was done on the Butterfield project.

    Furthermore, I’d also like to know, where are all the necessary insurance certificates, bonds and other documents that have to be filed for plumbing work that’s done in any town in the county?

    It is very expensive to be a legitimate, licensed master plumber in this county and if you are caught doing work without a license, the penalties can be severe (unless of course you’re an illegal moonlighter in an unmarked vehicle, then nobody bothers you).

    Yet here we have our elected representatives, the very people who are supposed to be protecting the workers and taxpayers of their community, cutting corners off the backs of the hardworking plumbers, many of whom are struggling to find work, let alone government work at that. It would have been just as easy to advertise for local plumbing contractors to do the work, why wasn’t that done?

    This is a total disgrace and probably illegal, yet I can guarantee that nothing will happen and there will be zero consequences for anyone. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    The real disgrace is that the people keep electing these scoundrels and miscreants to office in the cesspool known as the County Legislature. Until that happens, we can just expect more of the same.

  2. There is no one beyond reproach to investigate the overruns on this project; the misuse of county employees; the relationship between the developer and county officials. Certainly not the homogeneous legislature, assuring the County Executive a free ride at taxpayers’ expense.