The Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council has filed a legal challenge to the Hamburg Town Board’s awarding of a general construction contract for a 6,000-square-foot addition to the Hamburg Public Library.
The challenge, filed last week in State Supreme Court, asks a judge to declare the contract invalid because it says the contractor does not have a state-certified worker training program as required by town law for contracts over $250,000 that are put out to public bid.
The Town Board on Dec. 9 awarded the contract to Transit Construction Services Corp. of Elma, which submitted the apparent low bid of $1.89 million.
It also awarded the contract for mechanical work to Parise Mechanical of Tonawanda for $292,000; the plumbing contract to Ackerman Plumbing of Tonawanda for $177,800; and the electrical contract to IPL Electrical & Communications of Buffalo for $330,400.
The Building and Construction Trades Council, made up of 17 area construction-related unions, said that while Transit Construction lacked the worker training program required when the bid was submitted, the mechanical and electrical contractors met the requirement. It said the requirement didn’t apply to the plumbing contract, which was under $250,000.
The council said that if the law had been followed, the general construction contract would have been awarded to Sicoli Construction Services of Niagara Falls, which submitted a bid of $1,967,000 and met the requirement for a state-certified worker training program.
At the time the contracts were awarded, Hamburg Library Director Jack Edson said the work would begin soon and be completed by Oct. 30.
The expansion will include a circular-shaped addition with skylights, an indoor ramp for greater accessibility, an enlarged meeting room, a coffee bar and fireplace.
The town received a grant of $713,000 from the state Public Library Construction program to help pay for the addition.
The 47-year-old library, which has 160,000 visitors a year and a circulation of more than 235,000, is one of the hubs of the Buffalo & Erie County Library.
The legal challenge was filed by attorney Anna Falicov on behalf of the Building and Construction Trades Council and its president, Paul Brown. Town Attorney Kenneth J. Farrell could not be reached to comment.