NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Maintenance Mechanics Bid were unsealed yesterday at City Hall for four City School District of New Rochelle contracts
The contracts were for Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry and Painting. The previous Masonry contract, which is usually bid each spring along with the other four contracts, was scheduled to run until May 2014 but re-bid last fall, without explanation.
Although a final determination has yet to be made, two companies appear likely to win all four of the bid awards based on pricing. T&G Electric appears to have won the Electrical contract. George R. Wood won the Plumbing, Carpentry and Painting contracts.
The bid results raises a number of questions.
George R. Wood is the contractor responsible for the Asbestos Exposure Incident at Davis Elementary School last summer and the infamous flag pole painting at Trinity Elementary School.
George R. Wood was the low bidder for the carpenter wage, coming in 15% below one bidder and 27% under the other. George R. Wood was the low bidder for the plumber wage by just a dollar but came in 24% and 36% under for three other wage rates. George R. Wood was the only bidder for the painting contract. George R. Wood was banned, see article linked above.
T&G Electric came in was the low bidder for the electrician wage, coming in 26% below one bidder and 21% under the other.
It is almost as if George R. Wood and T&G Electric knew they could bid really low, too low to make a normal profit, but could make it up later by having someone approve inflated contracts.
The two companies are among a select group that win contract after contract, year in and year out.
Below are unofficial results (based on my hastily written notes) from the Bid Opening.
UPDATE: A knowledgeable reader sends along the following observations.
- GRW dumping fees different for Painting than for Carpentry and Plumbing, suggests he knew he was the only bidder.
- GRW bid different prices for Laborer in each category, same as dumping fees.
- GRW does not meet prevailing wage to do floor work (PW $86.32 v. Bid Price $75.00).
David Lapore was the only one who met PW for floor work.
- GRW does not meet prevailing wage for carpenter/millwright (PW $96.71 v. Bid Price $80.00).
- None of the bidders met prevailing wage.
- T&G bid at exactly prevailing wage for A-Technician.
- All others met PW even if only by a couple of dollars.
- Lippolis bid did not include non-collusion letter.
George Wood Plumbing was ineligible (previously banned), all of the Carpentry bids due to failure to bid at or above prevailing wage for "carpenter/millwright", Lippolis failed to include a letter but typically they would be contacted and told to deliver a copy immediately.
By process of elimination, there were no valid/legal bidders for the Painting contract, none for the Carpentry contract, one for the Plumbing contract (Eddie Burke).
The bids for the electrical contract should be checked thoroughly. The difference between T&G and the other two bidders is so large as to be suspicious. T&G has received preferential treatment in the past and T&G has a family connection into the Central Office of the school district (the owners mom works for the Board of Ed). Past T&G invoices should be checked. There is the appearance that T&G is bidding at prevailing wage, where it cannot make a profit, because it expects to be able to make profit some other way.
The way this game is played, based on our review of records, is that John Gallagher will allow preferred contractors to inflate invoices to make a profit. By taking this approach, Gallagher can effectively hand pick the contractors -- they bid at or near cost knowing Gallagher will take care of them later.
This might explain why the same select group of contractors win bids year after year.