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Same Buyer Again Submits Sole Bid For Sain Building In New City

The same company that offered to buy the aging Sain Building last year, was the only company to bid on the building during a new bidding process.
The same company that offered to buy the aging Sain Building last year, was the only company to bid on the building during a new bidding process. Photo Credit: Zachary Croce

NEW CITY, N.Y. -- After nearly a year of political in-fighting over the sale of the Sain Building between Rockland County Executive Ed Day and the Rockland County Legislature, only one company has submitted a bid to purchase the building -- the same company that originally offered to purchase it months ago.

National Development was the sole bidder when the bid was opened on Thursday, as part of a bidding process put forth by the Legislature in August, said Day.

But, there may be a problem with the bid that could create a situation where the bid might be discarded as "non-responsive" because of a lack of a required downpayment and other irregularities, said Legislator Michael Grant, (D-Haverstraw), chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee.

"There appears to be some irregularities in the proposal," Grant said. "Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach is reviewing the bid and we will discuss any issues in the Legislature and in the Budget and Finance Committee."

Currently, the legislature is evaluating its options following the submission of a response to a Request for Bids for the purchase of the county-owned Sain Building, said Laura Incalcaterra, communications director for the legislature.

" The company failed to include the required check for 10 percent of the purchase price offer, $4.51 million, and altered the conditions set forth in the Request for Bids," she said. "As a result, the submission appears to constitute a non-responsive bid, meaning that no bid was actually submitted."

She added, that a would-be bidder is not allowed to alter conditions to a bid request because doing so could potentially give one bidder an advantage over another in the process.

The Massachusetts-based firm had previously said it wanted to buy the county-owned building on New Hempstead Road in New City for $4.51 million, $510,000 above the appraised value, to create senior housing.

The Legislature did not accept the first bid because some members had taken issue with the fact that at the direction of the administration, and without approval from the legislature, a request for proposals was issued by the county Purchasing Department for the sale of the property.

"The contract did not guarantee the sale and gave the bidder an advantage over others, in part because it was contingent on site plan approval being granted by the town of Clarkstown, which has sole control over the zoning of the property," Incalcaterra said.

The Legislature rejected the offer and put the sale out to bid again.

“It is very hard to understand what the Legislature achieved by playing this game except for delaying the sale, forcing the county into austerity and just about guaranteeing that Rockland will end the year with a budget deficit,” Day said. “The taxpayers of Rockland deserve better.”

Grant takes issue with Day's comments and said he feels that Day is making false statements and playing games in an effort to grab more power.

"He is manufacturing crisis's where none exists," Grant said. "The county is in good shape and I would be surprised if we close the budget year in the red."

He added that playing these types of "games" is not what open and transparent government is about and that Day is "waging political warfare," with the legislature.

Day proposed the sale of the dilapidated office building nearly one year ago when he submitted his 2015 budget proposal to the Legislature.

The legislature approved the budget, which counted on $4 million from the sale to make ends meet.

“If not for the Legislature, we could have had that money in the bank by now,” Day said. “This fiasco speaks to a continuing pattern of fiscal irresponsibly by the Legislative leadership.”

Day wants to relocate county employees from the Sain Building to Building A in the Pomona complex.

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