Engineer Didn’t Prove That PLAs Save Money

From: Watertown Daily Times

Earlier this month, the Ogdensburg City Council voted unanimously to support a project labor agreement for the new wastewater treatment plant. Members point to a potential savings of $900,000 as justification. The key word everyone should understand is potential.

The PLA study, which cost Ogdensburg taxpayers $21,000, purports that with a series of false savings, labor consolidation and “management rights,” the project will save money. Yet no one challenged the study’s creator, Tim Seeler of Seeler Engineering, to positively prove those savings will be achieved. They also never asked him about the negative impact the lack of competition will have on the bidding process. They simply rubber-stamped the study and closed the door on local contractors and their employees.

Our association fights for the rights of merit shop, non-union, contractors and their employees. We also fight for the taxpayers who get fleeced every time a PLA is put in play. Our opponents, those who endorse PLAs, say we’re wrong and our studies are flawed. If that’s the case, then let’s put the cards on the table.

The city of Ogdensburg should immediately allow any and all contractors to bid the project with or without the PLA. That will allow everyone, especially the taxpayers, to see if the PLA really does save money. Of course, the city won’t allow that to happen. That doesn’t work for them politically.

Perhaps instead they’d take some of that $900,000 and do a post-PLA study by someone other than Seeler Engineering. Let an outside firm investigate the labor cost calculations to see if, indeed, the alleged savings were realized. After all, isn’t the role of an elected body to be good stewards of the taxpayers money? Let’s see whom the City Council really cares about the most: their constituents or the influential politician who forced them to adopt the PLA.

Brian Sampson

ABC Chapter President

As a full-service trade association, ABC offers a variety of information, tools and services to its members.

JOIN ABC

Union Requirement Inflates Cost of State Fair Bridge

By |May 23rd, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

A shortage of bids on the New York State Fairgrounds pedestrian bridge project will leave New Yorkers paying more, but getting less. When plans for the project were released with an accompanying project labor agreement (PLA), the playing field narrowed from 20 companies interested in the project to just two submitting bids, with the lowest bid coming in well in excess of $1 million over engineering estimates. Why the drastic decrease in competition and increase in costs? The answer can be found in three simple letters: PLA.

Another Voice: Benefits Add Hidden Costs to Prevailing Wage Projects

By |May 22nd, 2019|Categories: Statewide, Uncategorized|

Let’s not be fooled. Proponents of the expansion of prevailing wage are already doing great damage to taxpayers. They shouldn’t be allowed to ruin what little positive job growth we now have in New York.

Trade War: Find Out How The Tariffs Are Impacting New York Businesses and Consumers

By |May 17th, 2019|Categories: Federal Update, News, Statewide|

“What’s clear is that some contractors will have to deal with cost overruns that they can’t pass on to their customers,” said Brian Sampson, president of the Associated Builders & Contractors of New York. “But in most cases, the increased cost of the tariffs will be passed on to customers resulting in more expensive construction projects or higher costs for capital goods.”

First JCC Trades Training Class Graduates; Honored by Officials

By |May 13th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

The first class to complete the intensive 10-week, 40-hour construction training course offered by Jefferson Community College was celebrated at a recognition ceremony Friday at the Lewis County JCC Education Center.

Engineer Didn’t Prove That PLAs Save Money

By |April 24th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

The PLA study, which cost Ogdensburg taxpayers $21,000, purports that with a series of false savings, labor consolidation and “management rights,” the project will save money. Yet no one challenged the study’s creator, Tim Seeler of Seeler Engineering, to positively prove those savings will be achieved. They also never asked him about the negative impact the lack of competition will have on the bidding process. They simply rubber-stamped the study and closed the door on local contractors and their employees.

Membership is available for general contractors, subcontractors, associates and suppliers.

JOIN ABC
2019-05-13T16:07:58-04:00