Glen Cove awarded an estimated $15.6 million in contracts to two recycling companies, but not before a round of arguments gave a courtroom-like feel to city council chambers.
Officials on Tuesday voted 5-1, with one councilman absent, to use the combined services of Winters Bros. Recycling Corp., of Westbury, and Galaxy Recycling Inc., of Jersey City, to operate the city's transfer station and process its waste and recyclables.
Before the vote, a losing bidder who also is a practicing lawyer raised his concerns, his locution prompting Mayor Ralph Suozzi to say, "This is not a courtroom."
Anthony Core, owner of Omni Recycling of Westbury Inc., slammed the city for trying to "gerrymander" the request-for-proposals process. Core alleged that the winners unfairly shortened the contract term and said their numbers should be scrutinized. "This is not sour grapes," he said. "This is getting the city the right vendor for the right term for the right services."
An attorney for the city's engineering consultant, LKB of Syosset, denied any favoritism. "Mr. Core is simply a disgruntled bidder," Michael Cahill said.
Core warned the matter might result in costly litigation.
The contracts, good for 10 years with three five-year extensions, begin next Wednesday.
City GOP chief Paul Meli questioned the timing of an approval vote so close to the start date.
Amid the discord, the city council convened to a 17-minute executive session. It emerged to say the resolution would be amended to state that the contract was exempt from a state environmental quality review -- another of opponents' concerns.
Councilman Reginald Spinello, of the Independence Party, voted in favor of the contract, saying he had crunched the numbers for himself.
The dissenting vote for the contracts was cast by GOP Councilman Anthony Gallo Jr., who cited a "flaw in the process."
Winters Bros., whose services are being renewed, said the city "was able to get the best deal for the residents."
Galaxy, a new vendor that will pay for the recyclables, could not be reached for comment.