Curry Road Plaza bids linger

Two submissions hold vast price point difference; late bids complicate process

— A clear high bidder has emerged to redevelop the ailing Curry Road Plaza, but the bid process has led to a murky outcome.

The Town of Rotterdam received two bids before the Friday, July 13, deadline. Another bid was received just 17 minutes after the 2 p.m. deadline, according to Supervisor Harry Buffardi, and there was also a bid delivered to the wrong location at Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority’s office. The highest on-time bidder, Columbia Development Companies, appears likely to be awarded the 12-acre site at the center of town for around $1.23 million.

Councilman Robert Godlewski at the end of the Town Board’s meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8, questioned why nothing was on the agenda regarding the bids, which led Buffardi to recount the less-than-smooth process of receiving bids.

Buffardi on Aug. 8 said the town was “exploring” if the two late bids could be accepted or must be rejected. Town Attorney Kate McGuirl’s preliminary finding is the late proposals can’t be accepted as bids, Buffardi said Tuesday, Aug. 14.

“It didn’t appear to be a simple answer,” Buffardi said.

The Spotlight submitted a FOIL request to the town for copies of all four proposals received. Before The Spotlight went press, only the two on-time bids had been received.

Town Clerk Diane Marco, on Friday, Aug. 10, told The Spotlight she was still working to send the late bids.

Typically, a Request for Proposals seeks the lowest bid for a project, service or purchase. For the plaza, town officials were hoping for higher rather than lower.

Columbia’s bid was more than three times as much as the bid submitted by Forum Industries, Inc., which totaled $375,000 for the plaza.

“The money difference was huge,” Buffardi said. “The bid from Columbia was very strong.”

Buffardi said both late bids were lower than Columbia’s $1.23 million offering, but didn’t offer any more information.

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