The city’s governing body awarded a $600,000 contract to Grand Hardware, a company that has donated thousands to mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ campaign, on Tuesday evening. Located on Grand Street, the firm was the sole bidder for the two-year contract to provide supplies to the city’s public works department.
Each year, for a two-year period, the company is to collect $300,000 by providing hardware supplies to the city, according to officials.
“This was the lowest bid, it was the only bid,” said Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, who heads the council’s public works committee. “I feel comfortable voting on this resolution given the information I have received that it was out there for anybody to take the opportunity to bid.”
“This single bid is indicative of the city’s challenge in paying bills in a timely manner,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large.
A single bid for a $600,000 red-flagged the contract which is being given to a company that has donated more than $2,600 to Torres’ campaign. Thomas Neil, who listed the company’s address on the donation sheets, contributed in excess of the legally allowable limit to the mayor’s campaign. Torres’ campaign treasurer issued a $250 refund to Neil for the excessive donations.
“Many companies refuse to bid on these types of projects because they can’t wait 180 days for the city to pay them.”
Morris said he is also voting in favor of approving the contract because it is for up to $600,000 for two years.
“Since only one vendor came up and he lives in Paterson, my vote is yes,” said Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, 2nd Ward councilman. William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman; Maritza Davila, councilwoman at-large; James Staton, 1st Ward councilman; Mendez, and Morris also voted in favor of awarding the contract.
Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, was the sole vote against the contract.