Reversing a lower court’s decision, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled the Southeast Town Board had “acted arbitrarily, capriciously, and in violation” of town and municipal law when it awarded the 2010-2012 town garbage contract to SaniPro over AAA Carting even though AAA was the low bidder.
The court overturned a decision by the Second Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, which had ruled the town was within its rights in rejecting the lowest bidder.
The town board’s Sept. 24, 2009 vote to award the contract to SaniPro has been a contentious issue in the nearly two years since it was taken. The board voted 3-2 to go with SaniPro, with Councilman Roger Gross and then-councilmen Richard Honeck and Paul Johnson supporting the motion and Supervisor Michael Rights and Councilman Dwight Yee looking to award the contract to AAA. Gross, Johnson and Honeck brought up concerns about AAA’s quality and safety record, while Rights and Yee questioned the logic of paying approximately $280,000 more per year for garbage pickup.
The Putnam County Supreme Court will now decide whether AAA will be awarded the remainder of the contract or whether Southeast will have to once again put out a request for proposals.