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The Village News, Bellport's Paperless NewspaperOp-Ed

Normally, the phrase “Op-Ed” stands for “opposite the editorial page,” but here on, it stands for “Opinion-Editorial.” Our Op-Ed piece's express the opinion of a writer who is unaffiliated with and the writer is solely responsible for the content of the Op-Ed piece. Generally, our Op-Ed pieces are fewer than 1,000 words in length and they should be in good taste and not libelous. Our Editorial Board would be glad to consider your Op-Ed piece for publication.



Editor's Note: We believe the letter we received from Mr. Roger Baker today deserves your attention so we decided to run it as an Op-Ed rather than as a Letter To The Editor. The photo of the dock area shown here was taken at a little past 5pm on March 12, 2020 so that you can better see what Mr. Baker is referring to.


March 12, 2020

Dock Project

by Roger Baker

As someone who has been involved in the heavy construction industry for 45 years I would like to comment on the dock reconstruction.

As of today, we are 13 working days away from April 1st. April 1st was supposed to be the completion date for this project. Currently the bulkhead is about 70% complete. The new staving is in, but the tie backs and bull rail have yet to be completed. The contractor, who is a very reputable and competent one, has worked 5 days a week 8 hours a day to complete the work since mid-January. They have worked solely on the bulkhead work. They have not done any of the other work associated with the project. The drainage, new water main or electric has not been started. A lot of this work could have been done concurrently with the dock work, in an attempt, to make the deadline. In addition, there were 11 Saturdays available. That and adding an additional 2 hrs per day (working 10 hrs rather than 8) This is what I would have insisted on in order to ATTEMPT to make the deadline had I been involved. Fortunately, the weather has cooperated, and work has gone on unimpeded with the good weather.

The Village chose to interview only the low bidder for this project. There were 3 bidders lowest was at $ 2.2, next at $ 3.3 and highest at $ 5.5 million. Clearly there were some issues with this bid for there to be such a disparity. Having taken the time to interview all three the Village would have a better understanding of what each contractor had in their bid. Were they all bidding on the same quantities? Would they all progress the project with the intent of making the deadline? (working overtime as necessary). Would they be working on different tasks (water, drainage, electric) simultaneously. These are all simple questions taking minimal time to ask. But none of this was done.

So here we are 13 days form the completion date with about 70% of the bulkhead work complete. FYI the bulkhead work is about 30 % of the total project. That said the Village is a long way from completing this project. In the end I am confident the Village will get a well-built project from this contractor, but it will be no where near finished by the completion date. You get what you pay for…..

Full disclosure I was part of this bid process. I have won many bids and lost many bids in my career. This particular project was poorly managed from the beginning and, in my opinion, could have been managed much better. Thinking the Village has traded the “Clown Car” for the “SS Minnow."

Roger Baker
Patchogue, NY