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Panel OKs pact for demolition



Published: Thu, September 7, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



One contractor withdrew a proposal and another was disqualified.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

CITY HALL REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A downtown property redevelopment agency hired a New Middletown company to demolish five buildings to create space for the Youngstown Technology Center.

The Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp.'s executive committee approved the $768,500 contract Wednesday with Dave Sugar Excavating.

The CIC project is being overseen by MS Consultants Inc. of Youngstown.

Four companies submitted proposals for the demolition work that had an engineer's estimate of $750,000.

Companies were told the project had a tight time frame, and they were to submit costs for asbestos remediation and demolition of the buildings on 75-day and 96-day schedules.

Out of the running

The lowest proposals were submitted by Dore & amp; Associates Contracting Inc. of Bay City, Mich., for $493,700 for 96 days and $523,700 for 75 days. But the company withdrew its proposals, stating in a letter that the amounts weren't accurate because of a math error on its part.

B & amp;B Wrecking & amp; Excavating, a Cleveland company, had the next lowest 96-day proposal at $744,444, but didn't have a 75-day proposal. That disqualified them from consideration, said John Pierko, MS Consultants vice president of environmental services.

Sugar proposed doing the work for $748,500 in 96 days, and $768,500 for 75 days. The CIC executive committee approved the 75-day contract.

Sugar should start the work no later than Sept. 18, Pierko said. The company would be penalized $1,000 a day if it goes past the 75-day time-frame, Pierko said.

The five buildings are between the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Semple Building on West Federal Street, just east of the Home Savings and Loan building. The buildings are being demolished for construction of the Youngstown Technology Center with an approximate size of 30,000 square feet.

The CIC plans to seek proposals to build the center during the remediation and demolition phase.

2003 conviction

This is the first time Sugar has submitted a proposal for CIC work since A. David Sugar Sr., who runs the company, was convicted in January 2003 of perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison.

Sugar admitted to providing false testimony when questioned by a grand jury about whether he billed and received payment from then-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. for about $11,000 worth of work done at his Greenford horse farm.

Traficant is serving an eight-year prison term for bribery, conspiracy and tax evasion.

Federal authorities investigated whether Traficant tried to direct the CIC's nearly $900,000 demolition of the former Higbee building project on West Federal Street in 2000 to Sugar. When the work went to a Buffalo, N.Y., company, Traficant contacted Pierko and CIC officials complaining about the decision. Sugar's company had the second-lowest proposal.

Neither Sugar nor Traficant was charged with a crime stemming from the Higbee project.

Pierko said Wednesday that Sugar's company has done a lot of work since then and there have been no problems with those jobs.

CIC officials said Sugar is qualified to do the work despite his convictions.

skolnick@vindy.com




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