Playland Will Open May 11, County Says. County Will Run It This Summer
Posted on Wednesday, March 20 @ 14:35:27 EDT by jfbailey
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. By John F. Bailey. March 20, 2013 UPDATED 8:20 P.M. E.D.T.:
Donna Greene, Deputy Director of Communications, Westchester County, told WPCNR this afternoon that Playland will open on time and on schedule this summer, May 11, and weekends through June, whether or not the Playland Boardwalk is completely repaired.
Ms. Greene, in addition, announced that the County Department of Parks will run Playland this summer,as it has in the past. She indicated to WPCNR it is not expected that a contract with an outside managing firm, Sustainable Playland may be completed in time for the park to be taken over by Sustainable Playland this summer.
Her statement to WPCNR:
"Playland is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday, May 11. For the 2013 season, it will be run as in the past – by the county’s Department of Parks Recreation and Conservation."
Greene noted that the County Attorney Robert Meehan decision that repair of the Playland Boardwalk is not an emergency matter that would have alllowed the repair project to be started without putting the work out for public bid, has caused a delay in getting the boardwalk repairs going. She thought bids would be solicited and finalized by May, but did not have an exact date.
Greene told WPCNR late Thursday afternoon that the County Attorney opinion and written analysis was not available because "the client" was the Board of Legislators. Ms. Greene explained the County Attorney analysis this way:
" We do believe an emergency exists and the Board of Aquisition and Contract stated an emergency exists. However, the County Attorney has advised us that since the time frame has passed from the event and the emergency has been contained that state procurement/bidding laws must be adhered to, requiring the non emergency public bid process be followed.
John, there is no written opinion here to share.
Nor can I proved you with the county attorney's opinion here, as the client was the BOL. "
The Timetable for the new Bids, according to Ms. Greene's exclusive statement to WPCNR:
On 3/14 at the Board of Acquisition and Contract the Dept of Public works requested the authority to advertise these bids publicly-(including publishing the bids as required)
At that meeting, Chairman Jenkins “overed" the request so that it could not be considered until Thusrday 3/21.
Upon anticipated approval at the A&C meeting on 3/21, the bids will be published in the Journal News commencing on 3/22 for a minimum time period of 10 days.
Bids are to be rec’d by April 3. Upon the receipt of the bids from “the Request To Advertise” the bids will be opened and a contract will be prepared. A number of procedural steps must be taken, including processing a PLA (project labor agreement) and execution by the contractor.
Should this all take place timely and the contractor cooperate fully, the goal is to have the contract presented to the A&C on April 4. (best case scenario). It is the administration's intention to act upon this immediately at A&C with the hopes the BOL does not “over” the matter for another week.
On the matter of Sustainable Playland, the county choice to run Playland, Greene said Meehan had made a split decision, ruling that the county Board of Acquisition and Contracts could award the contract, but that the County Legislature had a right to approve any "major" changes in the park.
Since Sustainable Playland suggests shrinking the parking lot, putting up a waterpark, indoor fields and outdoor fields and a grand lawn, (which would appear to be substantial changes), it would appear that the legislature will have a say in the Sustainable Playland vision for the park.
WPCNR awaits copies of Meehan's opinions from the Department of Communications.