2018-04-12 / Views

Good governance wins in hurry-up project

Chalk one up for process.

Which goes a long way toward good governance.

The Northport Village Council last week was faced with a hurry-up decision when its Waterfront Committee brought a proposal to “test paint” a dock at the marina. A local contractor had come up with a process to prepare, prime and paint the gas dock for $33,000. The village was responsible for supplying the paint and primer, and no estimate for that cost was given.

The long-range goal, however, was more extensive, as apparently some long-time council members had years ago gotten verbal estimates from contractors putting the cost at about $350,000 to paint all the docks in the marina.

Extrapolating the cost for the gas dock, the Northport contractor would be able to prepare and paint the entire marina for half that amount.

Some local anecdotes were part of a one-page, less-than-detailed “draft” contract brought to the council for approval.

The contractor had to pay his 2017 transient slip fees before given the work. Why the fees weren’t paid up front as required for other marina users should be a separate question.

Also, the contractor would be allowed to keep his boat in the marina at no charge from now until Memorial Day weekend and again after Sept. 15, times when work was allowed to be performed.

As spring daylight was burning, a decision was sought that night.

Surprisingly, the council voted 4-2 to reject the proposal. Similar decisions have routinely gone in the opposite direction.

Hopefully, everyone down to the contractor himself — whose work was praised at the meeting — understands that process won the day. Sealed bids should be a required part of hiring contractors, and contracts given them should specify the scope of work while setting environmental standards.

Actually, all of Northport was a winner that night.

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