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

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Ogdensburg City Council Votes to Award Wastewater Treatment Plant Contract, Lawsuit Considered by Contractors’ Group

By |September 11th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

OGDENSBURG — City Council unanimously voted to award a construction contract to Jett Industries of Colliersville for the $35.9 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project, but also caught an earful from two separate parties skeptical about the process, Monday night.

Ogdensburg City Council Awards WWTP Project Bid, Despite Complaints From Non-Union Labor Representative

By |September 10th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

Ogdensburg City Council took a tongue lashing after accepting a $35.9 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project bid from Jett Industries. Amanda Bertram, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, called the award shameful and told city councilors they should have heeded her warnings about entering into a project labor agreement just to please Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Editorial — Too Hot to Handle: Labor Pact Didn’t Save Ogdensburg Any Money on Project Bids

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

“It’s not shocking, this is a pattern that we have seen with public works projects across New York state that are bid with project labor agreements,” Amanda Bertram, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors/Empire State, said in a story published Saturday by the Times. “Across the board, they all come in millions of dollars over engineering estimates. This is a trend.” Associated Builders and Contractors is a national trade organization representing those in the construction industry who don’t belong to unions. Ms. Bertram met with City Council members in November to discuss the disadvantages of using PLAs.

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2019-05-13T16:07:58-05:00