Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 27 August 2010 00:00
At its Aug. 23 meeting, the Village of Massapequa Park board of trustees voted to amend its local law concerning the Taxi Franchise Ordinance.
The village had previously awarded a four-year franchise to a local taxi company. The new law reduces that contract down to one year.
Mayor James Altadonna said the BOT amended the law in order to make the entire process more competitive on a yearly basis. The new law, he added, would allow a taxi company that loses a bid the opportunity to come back the following year and bid again, rather than waiting another four years.
“By keeping it yearly, we keep our prices extremely competitive,” the mayor said. “It is a benefit to our residents to have competitive prices.
Phil Fortuna of Checker Cab Company objected to the amendments.
“We feel that by having a one year contract, the village gives the incumbent the edge,” Fortuna said. “The investment we have to make costs money.”
Fortuna added that it is difficult for any cab company in any village to become successful after just one year in operation. He also said that in most situations, the village sets the cab fare. Under the new amendment, he claimed that the village would now let the company set the fare. Fortuna added that this means the contract might not necessarily go to the lowest bidder. He also said that for the past 12 years, the village has awarded three four-year contracts to the same company, a process that resulted in little competition.
Fortuna said he did not know if his firm would take legal action against the amendment, but if it did he was confident it would be successful.
In other news, the BOT voted to approve a public hearing to be held on Sept. 13 to consider a local law to amend Section 218-2, regarding building operations. That meeting will begin at 8 p.m. The BOT also approved an application for a sign permit from Matty’s Toy Shop, located at 1040 Park Blvd.