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8/14/2020 - Board Of Finance Chair Offers Opinion On Using Bid Process to Obtain Estimates for Potential Ballantine Pool Replacement

Bid process would “clearly be the exception, not the norm”.

The Edgewood Ad Hoc Task Force and the Southbury Board of Selectmen have received a memo from John Michaels, Chairman of the town’s Board of Finance, addressing questions from citizens as to why the town was not using formal bid process for obtaining cost estimates for a potential replacement of Ballantine pool.

In the memo, Michaels details that past precedent has been “to seek quotes from reliable experts to establish budget parameter so that the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance can determine if a project’s benefits warrant the costs.” He notes that this practice has been applied for projects ranging from roads and bridges to capital purchases such as communications system upgrades.

Michaels, who has served on the Board of Finance for over 40 years, points out that a major deterrent of the Town’s bid process is the necessity of design specifications and drawings, from which bidders would be able to accurate submit proposals for a project. Design drawings and specs for a new pool project would range from 7-10% of the potential project cost, meaning the Town could potentially spend $400,000 for the ability to obtain formal bids.

In summary, Michaels points out that “calls for a formal bid process are clearly the exception, not the norm.” He concludes that if the Board of Selectmen are interested in changing the standard practice, they would need to earmark between $300,000 and $400,000 to create the necessary design documents.

The entire Michaels memo is available for review on the Edgewood informational website: The website currently includes close to 40 documents, including the Task Force Recommendation Report as well as other due diligence.

The Southbury Board of Selectmen announced on July 3, 2020 that owners of Edgewood Bath & Tennis Club have graciously granted a 90-day extension on exercising the option to purchase Edgewood. As such, a town referendum, originally scheduled for July 16, has been delayed, date to be announced.