Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Bids for the Greenburgh Public Library expansion were opened today at Town Hall. The contracts that were bid on were: general construction; HVAC-Mechanical; plumbing; electric. The bids seem to be within the $20 million library budget. The next steps: we will review the bid documents, review qualifications of those who bid on the job; review the proposed contracts with the attorney and then make a recommendation to the Town Board. It does not appear that there will be any need to reject the bids or require the architect to modify his proposed expansion plans so that the construction can stay within budget.

I have asked the Commissioner to post the bids on our web site –which should take place within a few days ( –under forms).



Anonymous said...

There were so many representations made during the bid process. It should be shelved. There is no way that Greenburgh would have voted for this with Elmford withdrawing. The library must be moved away from Elmsford,

Anonymous said...

Where is there land that is centrally located? Doubt that you'll find a better location.

Anonymous said...

the parks

ridge road or secor are just as centrally located as 119

Anonymous said...

Ridge road park is a county park, not a town park. Doesn't the town need Secor Park for recreation? Bad idea!

Anonymous said...

I think the town has enough parks -- we just bot taxter ridge

Anonymous said...

A park can only be used for park purposes. Placing a library at a park is not what a park is for.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

a part of a park cant be given to the library -- i find that the least offensive of all the things the town does

so I presume that this is someone from near taxter concerend re parking or traffic

dano said...

Central Park Avenue is the ideal location - perhaps the Barnes and Noble property or the vacant land a little bit south of there. The current Tarrytown Road location is not bad, but I always did think it was an odd placement.

Anonymous said...

The voters approved the referendum last year. Supervisor Feiner warned everyone that the library proposal was being rushed. He even warned voters about Elmsford. He tried persuading the Town Board to hold the referendum on election day when more people would vote. The Board overruled Feiner. The voters did not listen to Feiner. The referendum was approved. Anonymous 11/01 1:56-- your concerns should of been expressed in May, 2005, not November, 2006. We didn't have a blog then so you're excused!

hal samis said...

Dear Village and Unincorporated idiots,

None of this relocating the Library talk is either practical, has anything to do with the the Library constructions bids topic or even makes sense.

You are really punishing Elmsford by moving the Library closer to Ardsley.

And, "a park can only be used for park purposes" Hello, how about a park without parking, i.e. Taxter.
But if you want to win the coveted "advance token to free parking" card, let's get back on track and talk about the Library Bids.

The Library is not on budget, the budget for the Library estimated before voting. Because, The Library Board is not building the Library promoted pre-referendum. They are not even building the Library of just ten months ago. What they hope to build is whatever they can still get for $19.8 million plus about $13 million in interest expense. Or give me all the Library $19.8 can still buy.

They have not started construction in Spring 2006; they probably will not even begin (other than a photo op) this year. And that means that construction will occur at the worst time of year, when it is cold which has an unwelcome and deleterious effect upon the pouring of concrete.

The only party who benefits from these continued delays is the Construction Manager who's employment fee has gone from their own estimated $612,000 to $680,000 to November 2007. Starting then, they get an additional monthly retainer, which based upon a project completion now sometime in
late 2008, will bring their "gainful" (in every sense of the word) employment to well over $800,000. Thank your Library Board for this gift to taxpayers.

As for the bids, I, and anyone, need to see the paperwork which is still forthcoming.
However, let me make these general comments. The original proposal (the $19.8 million) was for a project which contained just over 47,000 square feet and contained a mezzanine level and a curved roof facade. Thank god (actually you can thank someone else) for the miracle because the Board got talked out of that misadventure (Patrons and Staff could find themselves having to be on all three levels to find a book). It also had 160 parking spaces, a 200 seat auditorium and finishings of the top grade -- as well as $300,000 to move into a rehabilitated old town hall. With old town hall now removed from the picture and expense space in town buildings, the Library Board has another $300,000 thrown back in the kitty...less the current moving expenses and a handicapped ramp to Tarrytown Road which was a last minute (unforseen by the Architect) but required ADA compliance addition to the project. By "planning" to provide only the best grades, the Architect/Construction Manager provided still another "cushion" (in addition to existing inflation and contingency reserves already built into the original estimate) to control expenses or screw-ups. This particular device is most costly because while it allows the Architect and CM to say "we're within budget" it also allows them to jack up their own fees which are based on the total cost; even though their own fees should not, for this purpose, be added into the cost because they are earning a fee %-based, in part, upon their own fee. But that is another Christmas gift to taxpayers from your Library Board building committee, you remember they are:
Howard Jacobs, former high school principal, Susan Wolfert, newspaper reporter and Estelle Palevsky, reading specialist.
But hush, they are volunteers so there can't be anything wrong with their running a costly building project. And they have Al Regula (head honcho of Town DPW) whose bonafides include the town sanitation garage (too small for the trucks to fit) and the town multipurpose center (roof leaks, downsized as costs rose). You're in good hands with Al.

So what you get at the end, hopefully before Year 3K, is a lesser Library with inferior grade finishings but perhaps, even holding at $19.8 million. However, I'm not so sure that it has yet been established from the news that the $19.8 stands intect.
As I said, let me go over the RFP, the bids and the estimates and we shall talk again.

Meanwhile, "Library Information", you remember when Libraries used to provide information; the Greenburgh Library tells you about their increase in reference desk requests (do they count "where is the bathroom"?) which may be the result from their phone prompts to send you to the reference desk. But should you go to their website to learn about the Library expansion you find that they stopped posting the OAT (Owner, Architect, Triton) meeting minutes at the end of March. Their own short progress summaries ended in the summer. Go to if you want to see a Library which cares about communicating to their patrons how their project is progressing. Being that the GBPL's website is 100% Feiner-free, who do the Library Trustees have to blame for their big silence? Perhaps you anonymouses out there should call the reference desk and ask, "Hey, what's going on? When is construction starting?

But there is one key question you should ask? "Do you guys have approval yet to drill the geothermal wells? (The Library sits over the NYC Water Aquaduct) and there are some reasonable concerns about where the drilling will occur.
This is another Feiner-free problem. The Architect, Todd Harvey, never insisted upon a survey before he began work (he's been involved since Sunrise was being considered for the old town hall portion of the site and yes, he had no problem co-existing with Sunrise, no problem with the Library having 160 parking spaces, etc. -- both uses could fit on the one plot says he) but he never completed the site plan until March 2006 (which was why the Zoning Board and Planning Boards didn't discuss didn't hold hearings on the Library earlier) because the plot survey wasn't done until September 2005. And without the survey, who knew where the Aquaduct was located? Of course, you wouldn't expect the Library Board building committee (Jacobs, Wolfert, Palevsky) to know about these things, would you? In their defense, they were relying on the Architect, the Construction Manager and Al Regula, a highly qualified team, like the Yankees and the Mets.
Precisely. So call GBPL up, ask a Librarian. Do you have the approvals to drill the geothermal wells?

When and if they get them, they also have to find water...Don't worry, be happy.

And if the Supervisor isn't around, they can always blame it on the bossa nova! Hey, it's your $33 million being spent and the Library Board and the Town Council (Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan) say "we don't need a project manager". After all, the Town Council and the Library Board, they're just another brick in the wall. However, will this $19.8 million wall be able to hold against the rising water line?
Stay tuned.

Blog me a rainbow said...


Why should Juettner care about the financial giveways and other problems you write about regarding the GPL?
She can use the GPL but doesnt have to pay for it. Doesnt this sound like ...... oh yes....the parks in Greenburgh which are open to all but only paid for by unincoporated residents.

You can blame Juettner and Feiner for that.

hal samis said...

Dear Rainbow,

More precisely the then voting entire town board should be thanked and that includes of the still standing members, Mr. Bass and Ms Barnes.

As for Juettner, well you know how I feel about her and it ain't a pretty picture.

Al Jolson sang "Got a rainbow round my shoulder" but Ms Juettner brings to mind the picture of an albatross weighing upon the Town.

I'm using Al Jolson however as an example of one who successfully made the transition to talkies. Ms. Juettner (who for years never uttered a word, other than at eulogy time at the beginning of the meeting) is learning to speak.
However the damage has already been done. It is indeed perplexing to see one from the Villages as liaison to unincorporated departments which she doesn't pay taxes to support but can use, even if she has to play the Town Council card. But it is even more perplexing to see anyone, from anywhere, in the role of a liaison, traditionally a role filled by one who can speak. For example, able to communicate the Town Board's views to the Library Board and the Library Board's to the Town Board.

The Library got into trouble from the beginning because of Ms Juettner's silence and that summons another image from the era of the silent films. Hasn't anyone noticed her more than passing resemblance to Buster Keaton aka "the great stoneface"?

Anonymous said...

We need a project manager. We need someone out there checking to see that the taxpayers are not getting ripped off.

Anonymous said...

more oversight needed
more oversight wanted