Local business owners question Cayuga County’s RFP process at Emerson Park Pavilion

Cayuga County may be going back to the drawing board, after an RFP process was called into question. As result, the County might consider accepting new bids on a contract to cater events at the Emerson Park Pavilion.

The catering company that held the contract for years, gave up the site in 2019. The contract was transferred to A&M Catering. Two other caterers, Bernie Simmons of Ballons and A.T. Walley and Co., as well as Sean Lattimore, who owns the Springs Inn, feel they have been excluded in the county process.

According to reporting by The Citizen Simmons says he wasn’t contacted by the county when the RFP was issued in December. That meant he missed a crucial meeting, which happened earlier in January. It was required for anyone to be considered.

At that meeting was only A&M, thereby creating the appearance of concern. Lattimore was beat out in 2012 by H&J Hospitality, of Ithaca, for the original contract, which was extended in the mid-2010’s, allowing for the transfer in 2019.

While Lattimore and Simmons believe the owners, Andrea and Michael Gavigan, are doing a great job. But, they take issue with how the County has handled the RFP process.

Officials expressed interest in possibly revisiting the process, and allowing for outside bidders to jump back into the contest for consideration.


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