Who will operate concessions at Woodlawn Beach State Park this summer remains up in the air.
The Town Board reviewed 11 bids Wednesday but did not select a vendor. The town also has a date in court this afternoon with the vendor who has operated Woody’s Beach Club and Taqueria at the beach for the last three years.
Tucker Curtin, the owner of Woody’s, filed papers in State Supreme Court last week seeking to prevent the town from awarding a bid to another vendor, and to allow him to remove $100,000 worth of property he says he owns at the beach.
Town Supervisor Steven Walters said Wednesday was the first time the board had the opportunity to discuss the bids as a group. The board is a three-member board, and members cannot talk to each other about town business outside of formal meetings without violating the state’s Open Meetings Law. The board discussed the proposals in executive session, first saying it was discussing negotiations, and later Town Attorney Walter Rooth III said the closed session was allowed because the board was discussing the proposed leasing of real property.
The Open Meetings Law allows a board to go into executive session to discuss “the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by such public body, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value.”
Board members also met briefly in executive session with Curtin and his attorney.
In disaffirming the contract with Woody’s, the town invoked the “term limits doctrine” and a Supreme Court ruling that was used to renegotiate the police chief’s contract, Mitchell Stenger, Curtin’s attorney, said.
“We’re not entirely sure why they decided to disaffirm this contract,” Stenger said. “They did not indicate to us there was a breach of the contract.”
Meanwhile, the town wants a vendor in place as soon as possible, because the beach opens for the summer season on Memorial Day. But the board said it did not know when a decision would be made.
The 11 bids are quite different in their menus, other offerings and proposed payments to the town.
One would pay $4,000 a month and 5 percent of the gross sales, while others would offer up to $10,000 per month and 4 percent to 7.5 percent of sales.
Councilman Michael P. Quinn Jr. said the town wants someone it can work with and who will pursue the beach theme.