So how’s that Town Hall Fixup goin?

I’ve submitted two Right to Know requests for all information related to Town Hall repairs.  There was little forthcoming.  They are playing this very close to the vest.

There have been no RFPs issued for bidding on any aspect of the project. There is a quote from Enviro Vantage for asbestos removal.  The total amount is $26,650.  The budgeted amount was $15,000.

The Selectmen were informed on April 6 that Rob Houseman was working with David Hadley, CEO of Pella Windows.  They were told that he has taken a personal interest in the Town Hall and has offered us special pricing. There is no written record of the town requesting or receiving a window  quote from any other company.  So far, “Pella” has quoted a price of $49,474 for 24 windows, more than double the budgeted amount of $21,000.

So that’s the sweet deal from the CEO of Pella Windows.  Except that Mr. Hadley is not the CEO of Pella Corporation that makes the windows.  He is the CEO of Pella Window and Doors – New England Windows and Doors in Haverhill, MA.  They are a regional sales company that sells Pella Windows.

So we have a no-bid situation that is more than double what we were told in March.  Of the two items in play so far that added up to $36,000 in the original $200,000 budget,  the current estimate is about $76,000.  There is no record of the Selectmen acting on Mr. Hadley’s offer, or directing Mr. Houseman to pursue this exclusively, or that there have been any written communications with or about any other vendor.

In a memo from Rob Houseman to the Town Manager dated April 23, he was told to expect a revised quote for the Fire Alarm system.  After two months, there is apparently no record of any quote being received.

If you are wondering why the blog has not been keeping up with this project, it’s because the information is not forthcoming.  This isn’t about whether we should fix up BMH, it’s about how we do business.  There is apparently no file in Town Hall that contains details of the effort.  We have a project manager that is trained to be a Town Planner who is apparently managing this project without writing anything down.  There are no logs, RFPs, specifications, working budget spreadsheets – nothing, at least nothing being disclosed as required by law. Mr. Houseman will be presenting a status report to the Selectmen on June 20th.  It will be interesting to see if they get more information than was produced in my two Right to Know requests.

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