Associated Builders & Contractors President Brian Sampson today issued a statement urging Governor Cuomo not to repeat the same mistakes that were made with the state-funded construction on Solar City on the building of the pharmaceutical facility in Dunkirk.

Statement from ABC, Empire State President Brian Sampson

“We applaud the Governor for making this investment into Chautauqua County. These jobs are badly needed in the region, especially given the recent closure of NRG’s Dunkirk plant and the loss of ConAgra. However, we need to make sure that we learned from the mistakes that plagued the state-funded construction at Solar City.
It has been rumored that Governor Cuomo and his Economic Development staff are forcing communities across the state to enact a costly construction agreement, knows as a Project Labor Agreement or PLA, if they want projects in their region.  Not only is it a bully move, but PLA’s are an extraordinary waste of taxpayer money.
Before a shovel is even put in the ground, the study required to utilize a PLA will cost the taxpayers of this community upwards of $25,000.  Additionally, the study itself will delay the start of this vital project potentially missing the start of a new construction season.
We can save the Governor and the taxpayers the money. Study after study has already been conducted and the results are clear: Projects with PLA’s attached increase the cost of construction by as much as 30%. This is in large part due to the diminished competition created by PLA’s as they dictate employment terms that are unpalatable to many contractors.
As taxpayers, we are stakeholders in this project and we deserve to have our tax dollars spent the best way possible.  The only way for this to happen is to open up bidding to all, and take the lowest responsible bidder, be it union or non-union. The $750 million dollar state-funded construction of Solar City notably underwent scrutiny for a lack of transparency in the bidding process and throughout the building phase. And that is not what is needed for this important project in this community.
The Governor cannot make the grave mistake of putting a PLA on this project. They would be excluding local businesses and local workers from the opportunity to
work on projects that they are paying for with their own tax dollars. Taxpayers deserve projects with the best value at the best price and a PLA would guarantee
just the opposite. The Governor has an obligation to do the right thing for ALL constituents not just for certain special interests groups.”   

About Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter

Associated Builders & Contractors was founded on the shared belief that construction projects should be awarded on merit to the most qualified and responsible low bidders. The Empire State Chapter represents nearly 400 members in the construction industry throughout NYS.