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ISLIP TOWN BOARD DECLARES BENJAMIN BEACH POOL PROJECT


MAINTENANCE BOND: IN DEFAULT


INJURY LAWSUIT PENDING...QUESTIONS SURROUND BIDDING PROCESS


On Tuesday May 22, 2012 the Islip Town Board voted to declare the maintenance bond for the Benjamin Beach Pool Project submitted by Norberto Construction Inc., in default. This authorizes the Town Attorney to commence the default action just prior to May 26, 2012, when the maintenance bond in the amount of $1,350,858.79 was set to expire. The pool has been in continued disrepair and according to Town Councilman John Cochrane, Norberto has not answered repeated attempts to get them to fix the numerous long and deep cracks and paint the pool before the season's opening.

Sal Norberto of Norberto Construction Inc. (Medford) said Monday in an interview with Freelance Investigations, "That is a gross lie, we have been doing renovation work all along- as a matter of fact -we were just there last week."
He added "If they want to hurt themselves by doing something foolish then they can put us in default."

Town Councilman Steven Flotteron agreed with Mr. Norberto saying "The company has been working nicely as of late with the Town." He said the only reason he could figure for the default was to push them along.

Mr. Norberto wanted it to be made clear that "The contractor does what he is told to do by the project engineer. " They make all the decisions, according to Mr. Norberto.

If there are changes, then the consultants confer with the Town and then the contractor does only what he is told to do. Mr. Norberto said, "I can't fix it any way I want to. Sidney Bowne is the engineer of record. We do what we are told and as the contractor we did exactly what they told us to do, when they told us to do it." Mr. Norberto added.

Asked if they are working with the Town- why they are being put in default, Mr. Norberto said simply, "That's politics."

In one of his last weeks in office, former Islip Supervisor, Phil Nolan's administration made sure to pay the final installment for the Interactive Wading Pool at Benjamin Beach. The $1.4 million dollar pool opened in June 2010 and has several glaring problems besides the many cracks in the surface, including a pending lawsuit relating to a serious injury to a child and questions surrounding the bid process, according to Town Councilman John Cochrane.


The engineer and the town agree NO testing the ground for a pool put in on beach land!!!!

There are large cracks in the pool and now serious questions with the bidding process have also surfaced. A personal service contract was given to consultant firm Sidney B. Bowne & Son (Mineola) to handle the project and it was not bid out. Sidney Bowne donated over $6,700 dollars in campaign contributions to Supervisor Nolan before and after he was elected. Consultant firms like Sidney Bowne & Son routinely ask for triple multipliers (or higher) for wages for work they perform for the Towns. This contract was handed out without being bid and Mr. Nolan also admitted for the record it was awarded without a resolution from the Town Board, raising the question of what project the early money to pay the consultants was drawn from.

 Chlorine water seeping into the ground, ignored!

THIS TEST WAS PART OF THE CONTRACT FOR THE POOL COMPANY TO DO, BUT, BUT .... IT WAS NOT DONE, nor did any engineer or town observer ask to see the test results, SAFETY should have been the 1,4 million dollar concern!

The slump test is the most well-known and widely used test method to characterize the workability of fresh concrete. The inexpensive test, which measures consistency, is used on job sites to determine rapidly whether a concrete batch should be accepted or rejected. The test method is widely standardized throughout the world, including in ASTM C143 in the United States and EN 12350-2 in Europe.
The apparatus consists of a mold in the shape of a frustum of a cone with a base diameter of 8 inches, a top diameter of 4 inches, and a height of 12 inches. The mold is filled with concrete in three layers of equal volume. Each layer is compacted with 25 strokes of a tamping rod. The slump cone mold is lifted vertically upward and the change in height of the concrete is measured.
Four types of slumps are commonly encountered.  The only type of slump permissible under ASTM C143 is frequently referred to as the “true” slump, where the concrete remains intact and retains a symmetric shape. A zero slump and a collapsed slump are both outside the range of workability that can be measured with the slump test. Specifically, ASTM C143 advises caution in interpreting test results less than ½ inch and greater than 9 inches. If part of the concrete shears from the mass, the test must be repeated with a different sample of concrete. A concrete that exhibits a shear slump in a second test is not sufficiently cohesive and should be rejected.

Town workers on o/t?

Asked why they waited so long to fix the problems, Mr. Norberto said "No one does anything on their own. Everything- and I mean everything goes through the project engineer at Sidney Bowne; Joseph Todaro."This week, Town Councilman John Cochrane reviewed documents from the project file obtained by Freelance Investigations. Unable to answer many of the questions raised by the documents, Mr. Cochrane gave the documents to Robert Cicale, the Islip Town Attorney and asked for him to do an investigation into what Mr. Cochrane said appeared to him to be "possible bid-rigging issues relating to the project". After reviewing the documents, the Town decided to put the Norberto Construction Maintenance Bond in default on Tuesday May 22, 2012 by unanimous vote of the Town Board.



Months after the pool opened the paint was peeling off!


INJURY AT POOL... LAWSUIT PENDING

On July 23, 2010 less than a month after the water park opened, a little girl was injured at the "activity pool" and the injury was severe enough that bleeding occurred. An ambulance took her away and she spent several days in the hospital. One of the water jets was so powerful, according to the report it did serious damage.

The pool is part of the Water Park at the Bayshore Marina. On August 17, 2010 a field inspection report by the Department of Health noted the "injury to the little girl on 7/23/10 required an ambulance". (Her name is not being published here to protect her identity as a minor.) This accident was not reported to the Suffolk County Department of Health until the SCDH themselves requested a copy of the original incident report to be faxed to them "A.S.A.P." after it was reported by a resident, which prompted the field inspection. The law required the Town to notify the Board of Health immediately... especially since blood was spilled.


Was it such a rush job the plants were planted container and all?

Former Supervisor Nolan  gives final payment for COMPLETE SATISFACTORY work!

PROBLEMS WITH THE BIDDING PROCESS

Documents obtained by Freelance Investigations reveal that before the bidding phase was over and bids had been officially unsealed, Islip Town might have already purchased the Pirate Center for the Wading Pool for $158,140 dollars. Documents show that the construction companies bidding on the entire project were informed they had to include those items in their bids and that they must buy those items from Rain Drop Products, even though a purchase order for the Rain Drop products dated January 26, exists making it appear it had already been purchased by the Town. Later, when the project was stalled, because the bids were three times the estimated cost of the project...the Town sent a letter of guarantee to Rain Drop assuring them no matter what happened to the project, the Town would pay for the items they had already ordered from them.

Documents also reveal that the first bid from Norberto Construction (who eventually won the job after the third time the job was rebid)... had submitted two different sets of numbers on their original bid and although they used the higher numbers on the first bid in March and were the second highest bid of four bids entered, they used nearly the same lower numbers from the first bid on the third bid in November, which by then made them the lowest bidder. Finally, on the third try, they won the bid.

DID TOWN PURCHASE POOL PRODUCTS BEFORE BIDS WERE OPENED?

On January 14, 2009, Joseph Todaro of Sidney Bowne & Son LLP sent a memo to Barbara at the Town of Islip regarding three vendors that "could bid on the work" at Benjamin Beach Interactive Pool.

The list included:
Rain Drop Products (Leesburg, Va)
Vortex Aquatic Structures Intn'l (Atlanta, Ga)
SCS Interactive (Denver, Co)

The same day he sent a note to all Bidders Contract # DPD 1-09A stating:

It is the intention of these specifications to fully provide all spray park features provided by Rain Drop Products or equal, suitable for installation in a municipal spray park (installation shall be by others).
Bidders are to completely furnish the play features and any necessary appurtenances as more fully described herein...
All bids must be received by the department of purchase...Friday, no later than 11:00 AM prevailing time on January 29, 2009. No Exceptions Granted.



Despite resolution documents that claim the bids for the purchase of the "Pirate Center" pool/spray park items were first opened on February 11, 2009, a purchase order was found in the file for the products from Rain Drop dated January 26, 2009 for $158,140 dollars.

A document dated February 11, 2009 with the tabulations of the bids for the purchase of the spray park products contained two bids: One from Rain Drop Products for $158,140 (the exact amount the Town had already spent when they ordered the products from Rain Drop on January 26th, according to the Town's own Purchase Order) and one from SCS Interactive for $164,894.00.

A formal request form for bids dated January 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM contained the following information.

Group Specification Proposal # 209-50 Furnish Interactive play Features..."The bidder will furnish interactive play features as specified for the price of $158, 140 dollars (Both Features):
Rain Drop Products Play 004
Rain Drop Products AQRN-002-OM...Delivery will be 60 days after receipt of order. "


 
On February 24, 2009 a requisition was submitted to the Town of Islip against contract # 209-50 for
Rain Drop Products for $158,140 dollars. The purchase order number given was different from the January 26, 2009 purchase order in the file dated sixteen days before the bids were first opened. The invoice reads...
"Call first before delivery" Greg Dawson (Commissioner of Recreation)...with his phone number.

The money $158,140 dollars was to be taken from account HO-8-7230.3-0503.
The document has a Federal ID # of 34-1904609.

Despite the fact that the bids for the entire project were to include the $158,140 dollar Pirate Center, the Town paid for it in three installments and never got the money reimbursed from Norberto.

 DIFFERENT BIDS FOR THE ENTIRE PROJECT

MARCH 5, 2009
BID NUMBER ONE: DPD1-09

Four Bidders:
Lowest: Aquatic Dynamics: $1,499,499.00
Next Lowest: Merrick Utility: $1,514,369.00
Next Lowest: Norberto Construction: $1,732,500.00
Highest: Phillip Ross $2,088,258.00

On March 5, 2009 the day of the first set of bids, a memo from J. Todaro of Sidney Bowne went to David Janover, the Islip Town Engineer assigned to this project under Todaro's lead. It referred to the preliminary bid breakdown for the Interactive Pool at Benjamin Beach. According to Mr. Todaro, "Norberto Construction had two discrepancies regarding the units written in word to the amount bid numbers."

In other words the numbers in the bid that were written out in words (like on a check on the second line) did not match the numbers as they were written (like in the right hand side of the first line of a check). By law the written words on a check are the ones that count officially.
The memo said:

Adjusting the numbers to the written words would make Norberto the lowest bidder
Item C $107,000 written in words and $157,000 in numbers
Item E $187,500 written in words and $375,000 in numbers


In actuality, the number used for Norberto Construction in the first bid was the higher set of numbers in each case, which added to the other items in the bid totaled $1,732,500 dollars the total of the words not in written form of those in question in the memo and on the bid.

Then on March 11, 2009 Rain Drop Products sent a memo to Mr. Todaro regarding the revised project.
The resolution for $500,000 dollars on July 15, 2008 relating to this project was not nearly enough to cover the cost of the entire project after reading the March 5th bids, so the Town through Sidney Bowne asked for changes to reduce the costs and then had a rebid in April.

Two bond resolutions: one project

The first bond resolution for money for the project on July 15, 2008 for $500,000 dollars was intended for "the installation of a water spray park at the Town marina", stating "the estimated maximum cost thereof is $500,000" and according to the resolution it should have covered the cost of the entire project. The bond resolution passed with Town Councilman, Mr. Flotteron abstaining from the vote.

Where the Town got that number from is still unclear since correspondence dated as late as March 3, 2010, after the Norberto bid of $1.4 million had already been accepted by the Town according to all documents, has Islip Town Engineer, Mr. Janover, just then asking Sidney Bowne for an estimate on the entire project.

A January 27, 2010 letter from Frank Norberto, President of Norberto Construction to David Janover asking for a "letter of intent" discusses the fact that the Town has already approved the funds for the pool project and intends to award the contract to Norberto on or about February 9, 2010.

The second bond resolution for the pool was made on January 26, 2010. It was now for one million dollars authorizing "a spray park at Bay Shore Marina", and also stated as did the July 15, 2008 bond resolution that this was the true and estimated "maximum amount of dollars for the entire project".

On Feb 9, 2010 the Town awarded the contract bond money in the amount of $1,415,000 dollars to Norberto Construction. The two resolutions now totaled $1.5 million and when asked where the rest of the bond money went, the Town Comptroller Mr. Joseph Ludwig and other Town officials could not say.

Norberto's third bid opened on November 5, 2009, was now the lowest bid. This bid now used almost the same amount of money of the lower set of numbers from the first bid in March 2009, which was originally thrown out. All board members voted aye except for Trish Bergen-Weichbrodt who voted against it.

  RAIN DROP GUARANTEEING THE PURCHASE

On March 13, 2009 J.Todaro (S.Bowne) sent a memo to the Town:

Eric (from Rain Drop Products) sent this in regard to the pricing. It says the first is a wash, but the Town already bought the Pirate Center. So I don't know how to get that savings back.
On March 16, 2009 David Janover sent a memo to J. Todaro of Sidney Bowne discussing the need to lower the overall cost of the project through modifications. Then they decided to rebid the whole project again. Anyone bidding was told they had to use Rain Drop and to order the Pirate Center items listed on the January 28th bid proposal...but it had already been purchased on January 26th, 2009, according to a purchase order in the file.

On March 31, 2009 David Janover sent a letter to Eric Zelman of Rain Drop Products RE: The Benjamin Beach Project:

"The Town of Islip guarantees that the winning bidder of the above referenced project will purchase the spray products as discussed from Rain Drop, LLC. In the event that the project were delayed for any reason, the Town guarantees to purchase the spray products directly from Rain Drop, LLC. With this guarantee of purchase, the Town requires that Rain Drop begin production for the spray park for delivery as soon as possible (you had indicated mid-June as a best case scenario)."

This memo is curious since according to the March 13th, memo and the January 26, 2009 purchase order it would seem that the Town had already purchased the spray products from Rain Drop prior to the January 29, 2009 final bid date.

The actual check registry for Islip shows the Town paid for the Rain Drop Products in three installments
April 5, 2009 CK# 0009007366 $94,884.00 to Rain Drop Products
Vendor Number 0409
May 13, 2009 CK# 0009007366 $31,628.00 to Rain Drop Products

June 4, 2010 CK# 9028342 $31,628.00 to Rain Drop Products
$158,140.00 TOTAL paid to Rain Drop

April 23, 2009
THE SECOND BID: DPD 5-09
Had only two bidders:
Norberto Construction: $1,637,000
Galvin Bros Inc. (Steamboat Road, Gt. Neck): $1,909,000
Phillip Ross Inc: Their bid was handed in late
Merrick Utilities: was unresponsive in this bid

After this bid, the Town decided to rebid the project again in November 2009. No reason was given for the rejection of the second set of bids and Norberto's second bid was still higher than the two lowest bidders from the first bid; Merrick Utilities and Aquatic Dynamics.

On August 27, 2009 Town Engineer, David Janover sent a memo to J. Todaro of Sidney Bowne
Subject: Benjamin Beach.

He told Mr. Janover that he had heard from Eric Zelman of Rain Drop Products and he was concerned over the amount of water coming out of the large feature.

"I thought they had too much water (1400 gpm) (gpm =gallons per minute) than it could handle.
Well they built that feature for another location and the actual water required was 525 gpm... Also I noticed the Timberline article in the paper. How does this affect Benjamin Beach? Should I continue with Benjamin Beach or do you need anything from me regarding Timberline? Thanks, Joseph Todaro, Sidney Bowne."



This letter referred to the construction of a different water spray park at Timberline Park in Brentwood, for which $500,000 dollars was allocated from the state in the form of a grant. In fact, a contest was held to draw what that park should look like and children from Brentwood sent in pictures and a winner was picked for an Egyptian theme, but the Spray Park was never constructed. The money from the state grant was never used.

TOWN HIRED ENGINEERING FIRM WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM TOWN

According to a February 8, 2011 article in Newsday:

Nolan also acknowledged the town's planning department had already hired an
engineering firm to perform $25,000 worth of work on the two projects without authorization from the town board.
"A resolution should have been submitted," Nolan said, responding to
questions from Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt. (J. Maloney)


The engineering firm hired according to Mr. Nolan, without a proper resolution not mentioned in the article was Sidney B. Bowne & Son LLP.

 


November 5, 2009
THE THIRD BID: DPD 12-09


The summary of bids for the "Interactive Wading Pool at Benjamin Beach" on November 5, 2009 had only two bidders.

Norberto Construction: $1, 327,500 plus $88,000 additional monies for a total of : $1,415,000.00
Merrick Utility Associates Inc.: $1,471,750 plus $65,000 additional monies for a total $1,471,750.00

Of interest is that Norberto's new and winning bid was almost identical to the lowest set of numbers on their first bid (without additional monies) on March 5, 2009, which totaled $1,387,607.50. The first bid for Norberto was the second highest of four...now seven months and two bids later, it was the lowest.


PERSONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS

CONSULTANTS MAKE THREE TIMES THE PAYROLL OFTEN WITH NO BID

Consultants who handle the projects like the pool project for municipalities sign "Personal Service Contracts" with the Towns which often- as in this case -go unbid. According to their contract, Sidney Bowne got three times the pay per hour for the same job personnel working directly on the project made.

Sidney B. Bowne & Son, LLP (Mineola) was chosen by Islip Town as the consultant to oversee the construction of the pool project. On January 5, 2009 they formerly signed their contract which is known as a "Personal Service Contract". It went unbid and contains a clause that says:

We propose to perform construction services as described above on the basis of an hourly rate of 3.0 times the payroll cost of the personnel working directly on the project with the total fee not to exceed the following: Construction Phase, construction services...$60,200...Our proposed fees are inclusive of all expenses such as commercial printing, binding, mailing etc. Islip Town Councilman Steven Flotteron was surprised when told the consultants get a multiplier of three times the amount that would be paid to a municipal worker and yet their personal service contracts
are not bid out.

Documents will show that Sidney Bowne ended up being paid nearly $150,000 for the Benjamin Beach Pool Project and they were still getting paid as of January 24, 2012, when they submitted an invoice to the Town for $14,715.80 (retainage) now stating that the amount of the original contract was $121,700.00 and a balance is still left on the contract of $3,643.23. In this partial payment certification they also include a $29,096.00 additional payment approved by the Town Board in January 2009, to say that changes that Mr. Nolan's administration had asked for required the additional monies to Sidney Bowne. Sidney Bowne had only been hired on January 5, 2009 and by the month's end they were asking for an increase due to changes requested by the Town.

According to local residents the wading pool, built by Norberto Construction Inc. of Medford, Long Island, was never properly finished and there are still cracks some several inches deep, and several feet long that were never repaired, but simply covered with paint last spring.

On July 25, 2010 only a month after the pool opened and two days after the accident with the little girl, according to a report by the Town Public Safety Commission given to the Suffolk County Police Department, a sinkhole was formed near the bathroom concession because of a pipe in the ground that appeared to have burst. According to sources a little boy fell into the hole, but was not seriously hurt and no report of that incident exists officially. The Town also never reported the sinkhole problem to the Department of Health or the pool injury incident. The pool was never shut down for the injury or the problem sinkhole, which the pool workers covered with sod and cones and surrounded with wooden horses.

Allegedly numerous problems with the project occurred and were either ignored or glossed over, according to sources and there is no evidence that some of these issues have been ameliorated even at this present time.

The grasses that were planted at the time of the opening, were never removed from their plastic pots nor were the price tags removed in many cases.

Although the contract called for grading and seeding of the grounds, sod was installed instead...was already dying soon after planting and has since died completely. At the time of publication of this story no one from the Town can say: who purchased the sod and from where, how much the sod, rose bushes, grasses and other landscaping items cost, who provided them, who installed them and who paid for them.

Before the pool opened union workers protested outside the job-site that the company doing the job was allegedly doing substandard work.Despite the potential lawsuit, the alleged substandard work during construction, the sink hole, the cracks and the use of the wrong paint, (according to documents, a marine quality paint should have been used, instead a non-marine-glossy paint was applied which caused excessive slipping and peeled almost immediately) the problems with the concrete for which no slump tests were included in the file, the Town said the job was successfully completed.

On November 15, 2011, David Janover, the Islip Town Engineer, requested in a memo, that Joseph Ludwig, Islip Town Comptroller pay the construction company as soon as possible for their "successfully completing" the project...and he did pay them on December 8, 2011.MUNICIPAL WORKERS HELPED FINISH THE JOB WITH O/T

 

In June of 2010 as the advertised opening day approached, it became clear that Norberto would not finish the job on time. Just before the opening Mr. Nolan went to the pool site and brought over 20 municipal workers to finish the project. That is why they put in the sod instead of the grading and seeding as promised in the contract and that is why they hastily potted the plants in their plastic containers. They were in a rush to finish on time.

 

J.J. Dowling a part time engineer, whose job title lists him as a legislative secretary, makes $28/hour working for Islip Town. He worked at the pool along with over 19 other municipal workers for three weeks to help Norberto finish the project in time to open. They received overtime for working on the project at taxpayer expense. No one at the Town can say how much money was paid to them and why they are not asking for the money to be paid back by Norberto. The money for this work was in the $1.4 million contract and those municipal employees weren't doing the jobs they were normally being paid by taxpayers to do and then they got overtime.

According to their contract Sidney Bowne was responsible for the projects' quality and timeliness.


"The Consultant (S.Bowne) will be responsible for the professional quality, technical accuracy, other services provided under this agreement. The Consultant will, without additional compensation, correct or revise any errors or deficiencies as may be required to complete the project." (from their contract with Islip Town)


 

This reporter sat down with Islip Town Comptroller, Joseph Ludwig last week to ask about the project.

 

Asked if using municipal workers for a job that the labor had already been paid for in the contract, could be considered double dipping as their labor costs had already been accounted for in the payment to Norberto Construction- Mr. Ludwig said he did not think so. Asked why the Town didn't recoup the money for the salaries of the Town workers from either Sidney Bowne or Norberto before issuing final checks, Mr. Ludwig had no answer. Asked why if the municipal workers got overtime and were not doing the jobs they usually did- should the Town be responsible to pay them, Mr. Ludwig said there was no deadline for the job to be finished written into the contract and so the Town had to help Norberto out to be open in time.

Documents show that the plan all along was to open the pool by the end of June 2010.

 

The Pirate Center was bought prior to the bidding and hidden in a warehouse until the project and bidding was officially approved sources told Freelance Investigations. Mr. Ludwig admitted that he had heard that was what had happened, but could not verify that information because the purchasing department was responsible for that part of the project, according to him.

Calls to the parents of the injured child were responded to by their attorney, Nicholas Capece Jr. (Keller, O'Reilly & Watson, P.C., Woodbury) who declined to comment for the record.


Many questions still remain unanswered at time of publication.

Last week in a meeting with Freelance Investigations Town Councilman John Cochrane was advised of this information. As a result the Town Board put Norberto Construction in default at last night's Town Board meeting. Regarding questions raised surrounding the bid process itself, Mr. Cochrane commented that after showing the documents to the Town Attorney, Robert Cicale, they might be taking the information directly to the Suffolk County D.A.'s Office.

Sidney B. Bowne & Son gave former Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan $6,700 in campaign donations from August 7, 2006 through September 19, 2011.


SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 21-JUN-11 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2011 July Periodic A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 29-OCT-07 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2007 27 Post General A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 500.00 19-SEP-11 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2011 32 Pre General C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 500.00 26-FEB-07 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2007 July Periodic A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E. JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 03-DEC-10 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2011 January Periodic C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 200.00 17-SEP-06 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2006 10 Post Primary B Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 750.00 04-MAY-10 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2010 July Periodic C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 23-DEC-08 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2009 January Periodic C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON, LLC
235 EAST JERICHO TPKE.
MINEOLA, NY 11501 400.00 16-NOV-06 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2006 27 Post General A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON, LLC
235 EAST JERICHO TPKE.
MINEOLA, NY 11501 500.00 01-DEC-06 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2006 27 Post General A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B BOWNE & SON, LLC
235 EAST JERICHO TPKE.
MINEOLA, NY 11501 500.00 07-AUG-06 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2006 32 Pre Primary A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B. BOWNE & SON
235 E. JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 500.00 15-FEB-07 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2007 July Periodic A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B. BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 500.00 15-OCT-07 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2007 11 Pre General A Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B. BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 11-FEB-09 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2009 July Periodic C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B.BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 600.00 25-APR-08 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2008 July Periodic C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B.BOWNE & SON LLP
235 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 23-DEC-08 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2009 January Periodic C Supervisor N/A
SIDNEY B.BOWNE & SON LLP
2353 E.JERICHO TPKE
MINEOLA, NY 11501 250.00 20-AUG-09 FRIENDS OF PHIL NOLAN
2009 11 Pre Primary C Supervisor N/A
$ 6,700 TOTAL Campaign Contributions

Several attempts to contact Sidney Bowne for comment were not responded to. The following are the questions I asked of them, the Town and Norberto Construction. FOIL requests are still awaiting response in many instances...as they are provided to Freelance Investigations the story will be updated accordingly.

From an Email to Sidney Bowne earlier today:
Sal Norberto...said that he has been working on the pool repairs and was there just last week. He also said all repairs and all changes to work are directed from you to the contractor (him) and they only do what they are told by the engineer of record, Sidney Bowne- (you) Mr. Todaro. Would you like to respond to that or add anything regarding the threat of default on the Town Agenda for tomorrow?
Questions to Sidney Bowne engineer Joseph Todaro included:


Why has the pool been in such disrepair almost since the beginning?
Why were the cracks filled with paint when supposedly fixed last year?
Have you tried to get Norberto to finish the repairs?
The Town claims Norberto has been unresponsive to their requests to fix the cracks and paint the pool.

Have they (the Town) contacted you regarding the problems? Have you tried to contact Norberto regarding the cracks and peeling paint? Have they responded?
Do you intend to extend the maintenance bond for another year?
Was your personal service contract a bidded contract?
Sidney Bowne was working before the Town had made a resolution to hire you. Who from the Town hired you?
Why does Sidney Bowne get a 3.0 multiplier for similar work done by others for 1/3 the price?

In one document the water pressure is mentioned as being 1400 gpm's when it should be 525 gpm's, and adds that the product was made for another location. The Purchase order of Feb 24, 2010 clearly shows the parts are being fabricated especially for this project. Can you explain the discrepancy here?

Sources say the Pirate Center was purchased by the Town prior to the bid process and was hidden in several warehouses around Town. Mr. Ludwig, the Town Comptroller did not deny this when asked. Can you confirm that this is true? Do you know exactly when the Pirate Center was ordered. When it was actually delivered and to where? Was this already made for another project to your knowledge?

There is a pending lawsuit by the family of a little girl who was seriously injured by a jet at the pool. Did these changes have anything to do with the problems with the jet that caused serious injury to the little girl? Has Sidney Bowne been deposed to date? Who would be libel for any problems in this regard...Norberto or Sidney Bowne?

Was the pool ever marble dusted? Why was it first painted brown in violation of code? Was the proper non-glossy Marine Quality paint applied or was it non-marine gloss that was used at first? Were slump tests on the concrete ever done? None were provided after FOIL. The Town said none existed in the file.

What happened to the money paid into the contract for the grading and seeding since the Town crews did the grading with Town equipment and sod was laid down not seed?


Do you now intend to take control of the repairs? Who will fix the pool now and who will pay for the repairs?
Who bought and paid for the sod, rosebushes, grasses and other plants that were put in at the last days before the pool opened?
Who put them in and where were they purchased?
Does Sidney Bowne or Norberto intend to pay the Town back for the 20 municipal employees who worked for nearly three weeks- including overtime -to get the project finished on time?

Why is there a Purchase order in the project file dated January 26, 2010 for the Rain Drop Products purchase when the bid process didn't close until January 29, 2010?

Did Norberto ever pay the Town back the $158,140 dollars the Town paid for the Pirate Center since the bidders were told to include the purchase from Rain Drop for $158,140 dollars in their total bids?

Why was the project rebid after the first bid? Why were those bids thrown out? Why was it rebid after the April 23, 2009 second bid?

Why wasn't Norberto disqualified after the problems with the written numbers on the first bid? Is there a rule or law for the bidding process saying which line should be used if the written word and numerical totals differ... as on a check...the written words are always the legal ones? If so, what is the rule? If not should the bids have been disqualified?

On July 15, 2008 the Town estimated the total cost of the project at $500,000 dollars. Did Sidney Bowne give them that estimate? If not, do you know where they got that number? If so, why was it so far from the eventual $1.4 million dollar total cost?

What happened to the balance of the $1.5 million that was bonded out for the whole project which ended up costing slightly less than 1.4 million?

 

Sidney Bowne did not respond at time of publication, but sent an Email after 5 PM on Monday:


"The Town of Islip has advised that you refer all questions to the Town’s Public Information Office."


Taxpayers let's read between the lines.