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Hicksville LIRR parking garage repairs and closure postponed

Repairs at this Hicksville parking garage, scheduled to

Repairs at this Hicksville parking garage, scheduled to begin July 9, have been postponed. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Repairs to the Hicksville garage that were to begin July 9 have been postponed after the Oyster Bay Town Board on Tuesday rejected contractors’ bids as too high.

The special board meeting had been called specifically to increase the bond authorization for the repairs, estimated at $18.1 million, including related costs, and to approve a contract.

The meeting began, however, with Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino announcing that Oyster Bay’s engineers had estimated the repair cost at $13.2 million, but the bids had come in between $15.5 million and $17.4 million.

“These actions are necessary as the bids we received are millions of dollars more than I believe the town should be paying for these repairs,” Saladino said. The town had received three bids, but they had “deficiencies,” he said.

The board voted Tuesday to reject those bids. The repair project will be rebid and a contract will be considered at the town’s July 24 meeting.

The town published a bid notice for the repairs on April 9 with bids due to the town on May 14. Saladino then announced at the May 22 town board meeting that the special meeting held Tuesday would be to finalize garage repair plans and amend the town’s bond authorization. A legal notice published on May 25 stated the town needed to authorize an additional $4 million in borrowing because of increased costs for a total of up to $18.1 million.

It is unclear when the repairs, expected to last 90 days and requiring the shutdown of the garage, will start, but town officials said the work will be completed in 2018.

“Once we receive the new bids we will move quickly forward with these plans,” Saladino said.

The town’s costs for the project include leasing parking space at the old Sears parking lot near the garage. Those costs have not been finalized. The town costs also include $800,000 for buses to run from the Sears lot to the Long Island Rail Road station, at no charge to users, during the repair period.

Councilman Anthony Macagnone, who was absent from the meeting, said in a text message Tuesday that he sent a memo to the town board on Monday questioning the increased costs.

“I stated that $18 million is too much for this project,” Macagnone wrote.

About 200 parking spaces at the garage have been blocked off since last year because of cracking concrete. The garage opened in 2011 at a cost of approximately $65 million and has long been plagued with problems.

Last year, Oyster Bay sued Freeport-based Peter Scalamandre & Sons Inc. and Mineola-based Sidney B. Bowne & Son LLP for allegedly performing substandard work. Sidney B. Bowne’s assets have subsequently been bought by Syosset-based The LiRo Group.

On Tuesday, Oyster Bay’s chief deputy town attorney, Frank Scalera, said the town’s lawsuit against Sidney Bowne is proceeding with any liabilities awarded in court to be paid by that company’s insurance policy.

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