Double trouble for Spa City rec center

Wicks Law is designed to keep the bidding process fair and protect workers' rights, which can sometimes be compromised through competition for a low bid. Saratoga Springs officials, however, argue that Wicks Law doesn't apply in the Spa City because the city charter predates it.

The bid order was also issued after the bidding process was closed, though a contract had not been signed. City Attorney Joseph Scala sent a strongly worded letter to the Department of Labor, writing, "I am deeply disturbed at the conduct of department staff, the lack of professionalism and the hostile manner in which this matter was handledI am unconvinced that your agency has authority to act in the manner it has, especially at this late date."

Johnson said that the city had a conference call with officials from the Department of Labor on Tuesday, and indicated that lines of communication will remain open.

"I'm hopeful that we can resolve the problem without litigation," said Johnson.

Multiple calls to the Department of Labor for comment were not returned before press time.

There is also the matter of the $6.5 million already bonded for the recreation center. The city could face penalties if $1.7 million of the bond isn't spent by April 1. One of the city's concerns when selecting a firm was ensuring that money would be spent before the deadline. Facing two legal challenges, it's uncertain whether that remains possible.""

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