Lynam awarded beach concessions contract in Dewey

Bids for separate trash, recycling collection to be determined
March 19, 2023

Dewey commissioners voted unanimously March 10 to award a five-year beach concessions contract to Dave Lynam, with a bid on trash and recycling collection to be decided separately.

Lynam agreed to pay the town $85,000 per year to provide snacks, and chair and umbrella rental; the contract does not include trash removal. 

Town Manager Bill Zolper said only Lynam bid on this request for proposal, and that he interviewed Lynam with town counsel and the town clerk.

Lynam has more than 30 years of experience, Zolper said, and he has 400 to 500 chairs and umbrellas, and beach shacks, ready to go. Zolper said he has never received a complaint about Lynam’s services.  

Commissioner Gary Persinger said the first RFP issued included trash; Zolper replied in the affirmative and said the bid for that was $75,000 or $78,000. 

If the town does its own trash collection, Zolper estimated the cost would be about $40,000, which would include hiring two people at $20 per hour, maintenance and fuel for a flatbed truck, and bags for trash cans.

When Commissioner David Jasinski asked Lynam why his bid did not include trash as it had in the past, Lynam said he was almost 60 years old. Trash collection has been a big burden since COVID, he said, because more take-out food has led to more trash.

“I’m just getting too old for it, to be honest,” he said.

Jasinski said he supported awarding the contract and wants the town to provide trash pickup from the beach. With a larger annual payment from the concessions contract, he said, the cost for the town to remove the trash would be offset to about $25,000, which he supported.

Commissioner Elisabeth Gibbings said she agreed with spending money to ensure beach trash pickup, and Persinger said he wanted trash pickup on the beach to minimize the amount of trash left.

At this point, Lynam offered the town the use of his 200 trash barrels and 30-foot trailer to perform the task.

Mayor Bill Stevens said the town would absolutely have trash pickup on the beach, and that any statements to the contrary are silly. Who will do it and where the cans will be located remain to be settled, he said. 

Stevens said he didn’t think people would just overall drop their trash on the beach, but he respected that people want to keep it the way it is. Next year, the town can review where cans are placed, he said. 

Commissioner Paul Bauer said that South Bethany and Fenwick Island have streetside trash cans and those beaches aren’t littered with trash.

During public comment, Jim Kirlin spoke via Zoom to say he bid on the initial RFP for $78,000 per year, which would include trash removal. Kirlin said he was taken aback when he was the only bidder and got denied. Kirlin said he would have been backed by a $300,000 investment to offer brand-new chairs, a website and solar panels for phone charging.

Persinger said he was confused because he thought there was only one bidder; Zolper said there was one bid when the RFP included trash.

At the Dec. 16 commissioners meeting, Zolper announced that one vendor bid on that initial RFP. At the time, Zolper said the beach concessions RFP would be reposted because after reviewing the bid, he felt the vendor did not meet the responsibilities of the contract, including experience, equipment and trash removal.

In response to Persinger, Zolper said that he, Town Counsel Fred Townsend and Assistant Town Manager Jim Dedes interviewed Kirlin and they felt the bidder did not meet contract requirements. The bidder did not already have the chairs and had no experience running a mile-long beach service, Zolper said.

Zolper said he was also concerned about having solar panels on the beach and whether the bidder would receive beach chairs in time; he said he didn’t feel it was worth taking the chance. 

Townsend said he agreed due to the bidder’s lack of experience and major departure in operations proposed. Most important in the decision, Townsend said, was the lack of chairs and umbrellas, and the cost of obtaining equipment people are accustomed to. 

Gibbings noted that the RFP required the bidder to show it had the equipment. The bidder showed nothing, Gibbings said, making it hard to know the quality, and people expect a certain beach chair.

Resident Chris Brown said he was a former chief operating officer of the City of Detroit in charge of water, sewer and trash. Brown said he was 100% in favor of trash collection on the beach and offered his expertise.

Former Commissioner David Moskowitz spoke via Zoom to state that commissioners should delay the vote for two weeks until they decided on the trash vendor. The town could match assets and liabilities, and award both contracts at the same time.

Jasinski’s motion to approve the award subject to the use of Lynam’s trailer and barrels for the duration of the contract passed unanimously, with Stevens’ amendment noting Lynam’s equipment would be used if the town does trash removal and is not needed if a chosen vendor has the equipment.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter