City starts over in property management bid - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City starts over in property management bid

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November 13, 2007

Albany - The Albany City Commission will start back at square one, trying to find someone to manage 300 city-owned properties. The company they planned to hire withdrew its bid Monday after an apparent misunderstanding over the way the office of small and disadvantaged business handled the proposal.  

The city of Albany is in a business it doesn't really want to be in, property ownership and management. Nonetheless, it's a task they've taken on in one role or another for years. "I've got a family who's going to have a heating problem tomorrow and they need somebody to call. I do not have the personnel to manage that," said City Manager Alfred Lott. 

That's why he sought an outside management company to take over. The city has managed the some 300 parcels for the past two years to clear up problems with maintenance and back-rent, but now that they have been resolved, Lott says it's time for someone else to resume management.

"In this case," Lott said, "we need the best management team to manage those properties for those people over there." And Vantage Management was the best qualified. The company bid on the proposal, and was recommended to the city commission to win the contract for a cost of $132,000 a year.

But after the bid proposal came back in, the office of small and disadvantaged business sent a letter to the company asking them to participate in its mentor protege agreement, which would basically help minority sub-contractors get some of the work.

City Commissioner Tommie Postell said, "I think the minorities need to be involved in as many projects as they possibly can, because that's part of the whole process for minority participation."

But Lott says the way the contract was handled was inappropriate. "The rules say that you send out an RFP (request for proposal), you ask for certain things and you take it from there. We didn't include the mentor protege program, therefore it would not have been appropriate for us to include it after somebody has made a proposal."

Now, the commission must start back at square one, sending out a new request for proposals and in the meantime, go back to managing properties.

Vantage Management told city employers they would consider resubmitting a proposal if the intent of the request was satisfactory to all of the constituents within the city.

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