One of these problems is with the Contractor who was to provide the geothermal drilling work. The Bid Packages for the five construction areas of the project went out last Fall and the Contract awards were made mid December. The contractor still has not signed the awarded geothermal contract! It's already April - almost 4 months have passed since the contracts were awarded by the Town Board.
As many residents are aware, the original drilling plan was to drill four, maybe 6 if needed, deep wells in the area immediately west of the existing Library. However, as was known, this area is also near or within the NYC water Aqueduct and its setbacks; the Aqueduct itself is located roughly under the building. NYC maintains denoted protections to safeguard this vital Aqueduct and to drill in the immediate vicinity requires notice and/or permits to the City and the State. It is the responsiblity of the Library's Architect and Construction Manager to satisfy the appropriate Agencies and therefore to obtain the necessary permits and comply with the approved drilling plan, when and if obtained.
It was not until November that I was informed by a resident that the Architect and TRITON had not yet applied for the required permits. At earlier meetings with construction team members and town staff we were advised that it was important for the town to obtain these permits by March 31, 2006.
It is my understanding that, perhaps due to the failure to apply or the belief that these permits would not be granted, that the Library, through its Architect and Construction Manager, has chosen to pursue another method of drilling which will increase the number of wells to be drilled, at a lesser depth and at a farther distance away from the aqueduct. I do not know if this is a better system or whether its implementation affects the work agreed to by the other contractors whose contracts have already been executed by both parties. The new approach does not require permits from the state.
The status, of the drilling contract which was sent at the same time as the other four contracts, to Aquifer Drilling which submitted the winning bid of $495,000, is uncertain. The bidder had made some changes to the original contract which were unacceptable to the Town,if not allowable under bidding process guidelines, and the contract was returned to the bidder. without these changes, some weeks ago.
The contract has not yet been signed by the contractor as of today.
I have asked our outside Contracts Attorney for an opinion as to whether the Bidder is bound by any time limit to execute the Contract or be removed which could mean that the next lowest Bidder would be chosen. However, some people who are knowledgable about construction issues have advised me that if the specifications of the job have changed, as it would appear likely due to the new drilling requirements, that the entire well Contract must be offered for rebidding to all interested parties.
I would like to make clear that I feel that the responsibility for causing these changes lies with the Architect and TRITON and that any delays as a result and any costs relating to these delays should not be charged against the Project but to those parties who bear the responsibility.
I have expressed my concern in the past that our construction team should not have sent out the bid package before they finalized their plans and that it was premature to send any Contracts out for bidding until such time as they knew that the primary supply component of the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) had at least passed the required legal hurdle.
I want to go on record expressing my concerns. The Town Board should insist that town taxpayers not have to pay additional costs for the delays in the library construction project.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor