The Town of Oyster Bay board on Wednesday selected three companies to run its concessions at the town golf course and two beaches after 18 hours of public presentations, comments and deliberations over two days.
When the meeting ended at 10:19 p.m. Wednesday, the board had approved four proposals with base annual rents totaling $1 million. That’s more than five times the $193,851 the town was to receive annually under previous agreements with companies established by indicted former concessionaire Harendra Singh that Oyster Bay terminated last year.
The biggest concession, operating the Woodlands catering hall at the town’s golf course in Woodbury, was awarded to Lessing’s Hospitality, a Great River company that has run the facility under an emergency contract since October. The company offered to pay $510,000 annually, with 3 percent increases plus 15 percent additional rent on revenue over $6 million, during the life of the agreement.
The process of having more than two dozen proposals presented to the board followed by public comments and four hours of public deliberations — all livestreamed on the internet — was in contrast to how the town conducted business in the past, and that was the point, officials said.
“We promised the public a brand-new and very different Town of Oyster Bay and we delivered,” Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said after the meeting. The request for proposals had called for a committee to make recommendations that the board would then vote on. Saladino changed the process to show residents that town government was operating transparently.
Two board members were absent, meaning that every vote required four votes from the four board members and supervisor in order to pass.
Saladino said three failed votes during sometimes contentious deliberations demonstrated the changes under his administration since he was appointed in January to replace John Venditto as supervisor. Venditto resigned to focus on his legal defense on federal bribery charges related to his relationship with Singh. Venditto has pleaded not guilty.
The board chose Long Island City-based Healthy Choice/Mangia Fresco as the vendor at Tappen Beach. The company, which was one of two bidders, offered to pay a base rent of $85,000 annually with 3 percent increases every year.
The concessions at Tobay Beach, including bayside restaurants, oceanside food service and marina food service, had been split into two separate concessions, but the board chose one company, Plainview-based Carlyle Catering of Long Island Inc., to run both.
Councilman Joseph Muscarella wanted the Tobay concessions to be split for “healthy competition.” But the board rejected Carlyle’s proposal to build 500 cabana units, but went with its proposals that will bring a base monthly rent of $37,500 for the combined concessions.
The final approval was for the catering hall at the town golf course for which seven companies submitted proposals. Lessing’s plans for the facility included $3 million in property improvements over the 20-year term of the concession, parts of which were a $1 million renovation and expansion of the ballroom; and an additional $1 million in capital improvements if two optional five-year extensions are acted upon.
Saladino said Lessing’s will need to address parking concerns at the property before the agreement is finalized.