Placid board awards transformer work for $382K

LAKE PLACID — After several months of research, this village’s electric department and board of trustees decided to purchase new rather than renovate to replace a failed transformer, at a price of $382,243.

The village unanimously voted to award the transformer work at that price to Virginia Transformer Corporation, the lowest of nine bidders by more than $10,000.

The money for this 115-kilovolt transformer — as well as a new smaller transformer that was approved this summer at a cost of $25,782 — will be financed through a $700,000 serial bond that trustees approved in August.

The bid award was recommended by Robert Cherry of O’Brien & Gere Engineers after the village consulted the Syracuse-based company to review transformer purchase order documents received by the village.

The engineering company did criticize Virginia Transformer Corporation for what it described as “ambiguous statements,” regarding warranty terms, as the engineers added that VTC’s standard warranty is “one of the worst in the industry” due to numerous exclusions. The engineers subsequently asked VTC to clarify the meaning of its warranty statement, after which the engineers reported that the VTC warranty will meet purchase order requirements.

“I think what’s more important is [Cherry] did go back and check other individuals who have used these [VTC transformers], and I think he supports his recommendation pretty thoroughly,” Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said.

The new transformer will be constructed in Roanoke, Virginia. In his report, Cherry added that six purchasers of VTC transformers were contacted and all indicated they were generally satisfied with their purchases.

COMMENTS