FAIRFIELD — A project labor agreement that a critic says could add $12.2 million to the cost of planned train station development goes before the City Council for discussion Tuesday with Councilman John Mraz saying the pact may allow Fairfield to avoid cost overruns and quality problems that affect other projects.
“I want this project to come in on time and on budget,” Mraz said of the train station development near Peabody and Vanden roads. “I’d like to make sure it gets done right.”
That wasn’t how it went with Fire Station No. 1 in Fairfield, the department headquarters, or the Solano County Government Center, the city councilman said.
A project labor agreement, described in a city staff report as a pact with one or more labor organizations establishing terms and conditions of employment for a construction project, may avoid problems, Mraz said.
But Nicole Goehring, government affairs director for the Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California, a nonprofit construction trade association, said Fairfield has never used a PLA and that the agreement could boost the train station project cost by $12.2 million.
“I just don’t see a justification for doing this,” Goehring said.
“It’s typically not about common sense,” she said of the pacts. “It’s typically about pressure from special interests.”
The Fairfield city staff asks the council to provide direction on whether to negotiate a project labor agreement with the Napa-Solano Building Trades Council for the train station project.
Mraz noted volunteer work undertaken by the building trades to assist older Fairfield residents with repairs on their homes. That came after he put out a call for contractors to help seniors, the councilman said.
He didn’t see anybody from the Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California, he said.
Goehring said she never received a request for assistance.
“We would absolutely be willing to help,” she said.
Fairfield City Council members meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber across from City Hall, 1000 Webster St.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.