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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.