WGXC-90.7 FM

Greene lawmakers reject Bottini fuel bid

May 15, 2019 1:00 pm
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Greene County lawmakers May 14, rejected a resolution to award a fuel contract to Bottini Fuel, of Saugerties, due to recent litigation. The measure failed to pass the legislature's Finance Committee on a 5 to 4 vote, despite Bottini being the lowest bidder, offering fuel at a rate of $2.1833 per gallon. The county anticipates using 24,000 gallons combined, at its highway garage in Ashland, the Cairo Office building and the Rivertown Senior Center in Athens. In November, Bottini Fuel pleaded guilty to diverting more than $1.7 million from customer credit balances and was ordered to pay $3.2 million in criminal restitution and civil damages. The company was charged with second-degree falsifying business records between 2004 and 2016 and affected 131 customers. Local government agencies affected included the town and village of Hunter, Jewett, the East Jewett Fire Department, the Clermont Fire Station and the Catskill location of Capital Region Off-Track Betting. When the fuel contract resolution first surfaced in the Public Works Committee, legislators asked if the company could be disqualified as the lowest responsible first bidder, a requirement by the state attorney general’s office. Bottini’s legal issue was closed and a rejection could make the county vulnerable to litigation, county attorney Edward Kaplan said. The resolution was then approved by the Public Works Committee and was moved to the Finance Committee. Following the Finance Committee's decision, County Administrator Shaun Groden asked how the fuel bid dilemma would be resolved. “We had a passage in one committee and a failure in another and I still need fuel,” he said. The Public Works and Finance committees will be back at it with special meetings Wed., May 15, immediately before the monthly meeting of the full board. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.