There’s a battle brewing in the city over the proposals for building a new city jail. One of the groups that submitted a plan is worried the city won’t even open their packet containing the proposal. That’s because the group didn’t pay a $50,000 fee. The city says the fee is required by state law for unsolicited PPEA proposals.
The Inside Baseball: The debate is over the word “unsolicited”. The group, made up of a Suffolk Construction and Strollo Architects, sent a letter to the city asking that their proposal still be considered without the $50,000 payment.
J. Pat Strollo told me by phone today that the fee amounts to “discrimination to small firms that can’t afford to pay.” In the letter, Strollo and his partner argue that the city’s invitation for proposals “was a solicitation for proposals and as such falls under the PPEA stipulation of solicited proposals.” The go on to say, “we do not believe, for the above reason, that any fees are required or justified for this process. Therefore, we are requesting that our proposal be opened and reviewed with the understanding that if this proposals is advanced to the next phase of detailed submission, fees may, be required.”
Mayor Dwight Jones’ Press Secretary, Tammy Hawley told me this afternoon that the city is required by state law to “advertise that we received an unsolicited PPEA and that others are allowed to submit if they so choose.” She went on to say the city advertised, but did not solicit proposals, meaning the $50,000 fee is required.
There were 6 proposals submitted to the city and they are still being vetted. At least one of the proposals submitted the fee. It’s unclear tonight how many of the other groups also paid up.