May 20, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Rising oil costs ‘paint’ county into a corner when it comes to contracting for highway pavement markings

2 min read

Genesee County Legislators were in for a bit of sticker shock tonight when they considered contracts for pavement markings over the next year.

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, noticing that monetary amounts and contractors’ names weren’t included in the original resolution, called for an amendment – prompting Highway Superintendent Tim Hens to provide additional details at the board’s meeting at the Old County Courthouse.

Hens said the 2022-23 price, effective June 1, represents a 25 percent increase from the previous cost, rising from $308 per mile to $388 per mile.

The resolution was amended to include that the county will be contracting with Seneca Pavement Marking of Horseheads for the bulk of the work and with Accent Stripe of Orchard Park for a smaller amount of epoxy pavement markings.

Stein remarked that as she read the resolution, she was taken back by large increase in price.

“The budget impact was a bit striking where the pavement markings are scheduled to rise at a negotiated 25 percent increase,” she said.

Hens advised that his options were to renew the contract at the negotiated price with Seneca Pavement “or putting it back out to bid.”

It all came down to rising oil costs, he said.

“We opted to negotiate with the vendor because price of paint, which is tied quite directly to oil prices that shot up just as gas has at the pump,” he said. “We actually got the 25 percent increase in pricing … back in February prior to the most recent shock in price.”

Hens recommended that lawmakers go with the current deal because “I’m afraid if we put it out to bid, I think our price would go up at least 50 percent or more just based on what we’ve seen in the last month and a half or two months.”

He said Seneca Pavement held the line on specialized markings – turn arrows, lettering, railroad crossing and hash markings such as the ones at Genesee Community College – at the 2021 level.

“Accent Stripe did hold their prices at the ‘20-21 pricing but again we don’t really use that contract very much and for them to eat a little bit of cost probably isn’t a big deal,” Hens added. “The main contract with Seneca Pavement Marking, I feel, is still a good value to the county.”

After Legislature Clerk Lisa Casey read the amended proclamation, legislators voted in favor of the contracts.

On another front, Stein reminded legislators that they will be meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 30 for a Committee of the Whole session to award bids for the construction of the new Genesee County Jail on West Main Street Road.

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