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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Panel adds $118G for science lab project

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— The Permanent School Facilities Building Committee recently agreed to add $118,000 to a contract to remodel the Jonathan Law High School science labs after accepting the contractor’s original bid.
Rocky Hill-based Connecticut Carpentry Corp. said it accidentally underbid by $195,000 the $3.1 million contract, and that carrying out the contract as bid would create a financial hardship.
Committee Chairman Matthew Woods said Monday that the committee approved the request after Connecticut Carpentry Corp. reduced the sum to an $118,000 overage. He said even with the additional $118,000, “they’re pretty much breaking even.”
A phone call placed to Connecticut Carpentry Corp. seeking comment Monday was not returned.
Committee member and Alderman Robert Nunno, D-5, was the lone dissenter in the 4-1 vote to approve the additional money. Nunno said Monday that he felt the contractor should have been held to the original bid.
“I felt the contractor could have absorbed that $118,000,” Nunno said. “You can’t tell me they’re not making any money on this. But they were at the meeting, and I guess some people on the committee were won over by what they had to say.”
The error in bidding originated from an electrical subcontractor who accidentally submitted its bid for a Southern Connecticut State University project instead of the bid for the Law project, accounting for about a $100,000 discrepancy, Woods said. The underbid was compounded by a cabinet subcontractor failing to take into account the cost of installation, Woods said.
The contract was not rebid.
Woods, who also serves as the city’s trial counsel, said that after consulting with the city attorney, they decided they didn’t want to rebid the contract.
Even after adding the $118,000, Connecticut Carpentry Corp. was still the lowest bidder by about $300,000. He also believed the error was an “honest mistake,” and the company wasn’t trying to pad its profits after coming in with a low bid.
But Nunno said other committee members shouldn’t have agreed to allocate another $118,000 to the project so easily.
“We got chastised and criticized for not getting $65,000 from the (off-track betting), when we just tabled it; we never said we were going to vote against it,” Nunno said, referring to an earlier Board of Aldermen vote. “Here you have something that represents two years of OTB revenue and everyone is willing to just say ‘OK.’”
A second OTB site was approved after the Board of Aldermen Democrats voted to table a Boston Post Road site. An extra $60,000 of expected revenue was added to the 2008-09 budget by the Board of Finance last week.
James Tinley can be reached at or 401-3530.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is absurd! The city just loves to throw away money! A bid is a bid - now we are stuck with an additional $118K burden.
Make sure it come off the school budget!

March 19, 2008 at 10:36 AM 
Anonymous The Scarlet Pimpernel said...

What a bunch of suckers. I bet if these same folks had the same experience with a carpenter putting an addition on their home you are darn toot'n they would hold them to the bid.
These contractors know that you simply under bid to get the job, then cry poor-boy and they give you the money. . . presto . . . you are now techncally the "highest bidder" on a job, except now there is noone bidding against you. They should have held their feet to the fire or sued them and then hired the next lowest price fromthe original bid request. Oh, but wait, that would have been too much trouble. These folks get played like a harp by these crooks. I would love to sell product to them, as it is like shooting fish in a barrel. Poor judgement.

March 20, 2008 at 7:49 AM 

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