Yet more ugly questions arise from the Vine Street School renovation. It seems that a county employee took it upon themselves to approach the favored architectural firm and asked them to rebid, which was done.
Cumberland County sent letters Friday to the three architectural firms vying to design the Vine Street School project, asking them to reconsider their asking prices.
The request, legal if unusual, is part of a series of steps the county is taking to reach an award decision with minimum controversy, as well as minimum cost.
“We very well may re-bid,” Freeholder Director Louis Magazzu said. “There may be some other options in the mix, as well.”
Lammey Giorgio principal Tony Giorgio said at the meeting that, at the request of county staff, he had redone the firm’s first estimate of $619,500.
Giorgio shaved $43,500, dropping the bid to $576,000. “What we did obviously is trim some of our time,” he said Friday.
Magazzu said freeholders didn’t know Lammey Giorgio had been asked to retool its bid. He told staff at the end of the meeting to contact all three firms and ask them to consider reductions.
Nelson Thompson, the Freeholder with ties to Camden County through his union activities is strongly in support of Lammey Giorgio. So the question is, did Lou really know nothing about that request to the one firm? If not, who made it, and will they be disciplined for creating preferential treatment for the favored firm?