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Businesses pitch proposals to expand Oyster Bay catering hall

Steve Carl of Carlyle Catering presents his proposal

Steve Carl of Carlyle Catering presents his proposal during a Town of Oyster Bay public work session on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Seven restaurant and catering businesses offered vastly different visions for Oyster Bay’s catering hall at the town golf course during public presentations made to the town board Tuesday.

Some companies pitched multimillion-dollar capital investment to expand Woodlands at Woodbury to accommodate bigger groups, while others suggested making more modest renovations.

The public proposal format was a departure from the town’s regular procurement practices.

“Any proposal we’re open to listen to. We’re not trying to narrow the scope,” Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said during a break in the six-hour presentation. “We’re trying to provide opportunity for everyone to present to our residents and our town board.”

The board expects to vote on four proposals, including the golf course proposal, on Wednesday.

Saladino was appointed in January to replace former Supervisor John Venditto, who resigned to focus on his legal defense on federal bribery charges related to his relationship with Harendra Singh, the former concessionaire at the golf course, Tappen Beach and Tobay Beach. Venditto has pleaded not guilty.

All of the proposals for the 20-year concession offered the town much more money than the $74,772 Singh’s former company would have paid as its final annual rate before the town canceled the agreement in September. New fixed annual fees to be paid to the town ranged from $300,000 to $600,000, not including future increases, revenue sharing agreements and signing bonuses.

The companies that envisioned making large capital programs included Carlyle Catering of Long Island, which proposed building a $5 million, 7,000-square-foot ballroom, Culinart Group, Scotto Brothers, Lessing’s Hospitality Group and Kedis Enterprises. The companies said expanding the facility would draw more people.

Dover Group and Lovin’ Oven Celebrations proposed more modest renovation projects, at $1 million to $1.5 million.

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