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Council to reconsider low-bidding security company for Flower Library

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The Watertown City Council is expected on Monday night to reconsider hiring the same security company it rejected two months ago to handle security at Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.

Amy M. Pastuf, the city’s purchasing manager, has recommended hiring the low bidder, Denog Protective Security Services Inc., Bronx, after rebidding the work last month. In October, council members rejected the low bidder after they questioned the validity of the company because it operated out of the Bronx and did not have a local office.

Since then, Denog hired a local manager, local businessman Harry Cleaves, and has submitted the names of four employees who are legally registered with the state as security guards, Ms. Pastuf said. It also has opened an office at 1 Edmund St., the former site of Precision Limber, she said.

Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said he expects council members to have further questions about the low-bidder at the Monday night City Council meeting.

“We’ll see where it goes Monday night,” he said.

Out of eight companies submitting bids, Denog has the lowest bid with $17.81 per hour. Wisdom Protective Services has the next lowest at $19.73 per hour.

Ms. Pastuf said she does not know how Mr. Cleaves and the company ended up together.

About 10 years ago, a group of neighbors filed a lawsuit against Mr. Cleaves and his bulk food distribution business that stored 30,000 pounds of road salt on his Morrison Street property. The neighbors claimed the salt caused health problems, including respiratory problems and eye and skin irritation.

In recent years, library officials have talked about increasing security at the Washington Street facility after having to deal with such major incidents as finding a loaded gun in a restroom, several drug deals, fights between patrons, a man selling urine from a dog for urine tests and numerous property thefts.

During this year’s budget process, council members put $43,000 in the 2013-14 budget to pay for security.

Details about the contract and the hours that Denog would cover security at the library must still be worked out, Ms. Pastuf said.

It will be a busy meeting.

Besides the security bid, council members will be asked to take the following action:

n A draft proposal for park rules that includes how to handle park hours for Thompson Park. Under the proposal, signs would say “no person shall enter or remain” in the park from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

n Setting a $42,000 annual salary for a new executive secretary of the Civil Service Commission to replace Elizabeth U. Morris, who is retiring. On Friday, City Manager Sharon A. Addison said she could not release the identity of the successful candidate because not all the backgrounds had been completed.

The name of the new secretary will be available Monday night.

n Hiring Public Sector HR Consultants LLC at $1,250 a month for seven months to handle a variety of human resources issues.

n Holding a public hearing on deleting outdated provisions of the City Code pertaining to business and trade fees.

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