Library branch committee seeks better comparisons with project bids

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The Station branch library will be getting a makeover. (Photo courtesy of MDA designgroup)
The Station branch library will be getting a makeover. (Photo courtesy of MDA designgroup)

The Great Neck Library’s branch committee said last week it needs better comparisons to decide on project bids related to the Lakeville repainting and renovation of the other two branch libraries.  It has received only one bid on one project and two non-comparable proposals on two others.

Branch committee members reviewed the two offers for the renovations of the Station and Parkville branch libraries, which came from the same two companies: Library Interiors Inc. and The Whalen Berez Group.

While both offers outlined hourly rates for the positions that would be involved in the projects, only Whalen Berez Group provided a basic services fee for the furniture and finish procurement, installation and related services.

“They weren’t apples to apples,” Acting Director Tracy Van Dyne said last Thursday.

If both the Station and Parkville bids were accepted, Whalen Berez offered those services for a total of $55,000. If individual bids were granted, the basic services cost would be $40,000 for Station and $30,000 for Parkville.

Van Dyne also said that Steven Kashkin, the library’s business manager, has reached out to Library Interiors and is awaiting a response on a more solid number.

“I would say we are waiting then,” Rebecca Miller, a committee member and library board president, said.

Trustee Josie Pizer, the treasurer of the library board, also requested a more detailed breakdown and the price of certain costs like subcontractors.

The library also only received one bid for moving and storage services from National Relocations Inc. It would cost $6,800 to move everything out of the branch library and $6,500 to move it all back, according to the proposal, as well as $640 per month’s storage.

“That sounds very high to me,” Pizer said. “You’re talking $14,000.”

Allana Mutum, a head branch librarian rotating through the system, emphasized the importance of protecting the books.

Rebecca Miller, the library board president, said she agreed that a specialized mover would be ideal to protect the library materials. More comparisons are needed to see if the $14,000 price tag is normal though, she said.

“It’s impossible to make a decision without that,” Miller said.

Van Dyne said a request for proposals went out to five companies, with the library only getting this one back.

Committee members said it would be a good idea to go back and get more companies engaged.

The committee, however, said it would recommend accepting a bid from Franks Painting to repaint the Lakeville branch library for $2,000 and one from the Port Washington-based All Pro Carpet cleaning to clean the library’s carpets for $350. Each was the lowest of three bids.

“[With] Lakeville, we just need the mover,” Miller said. “Everything else is done.”

The Great Neck Library Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for June 23 was canceled.

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