Westport could be brewing new coffee concessions by early spring at both of its Metro-North train stations, after town officials received several bids Thursday from coffee vendors.
The town has received five bids in response to a request for proposals for new coffee establishments at the two stations -- one for the Saugatuck station and four proposals for the Green's Farms station.
The bidders for a 150-square-foot space at the Green's Farms station include Green's Farms
C&P, the Green's Farms station's current coffee concession, and Cocoa Michelle, which has a coffee shop on Railroad Place, across the street from the Saugatuck station.
The sole bidder for an approximately 170-square-foot venue at the Saugatuck station, a firm called Steam, also submitted a proposal for the Green's Farms station, according to Richard Kotchko, the town's purchasing officer. Debo
Food Services was the other bidder for the Green's Farms space.
"We probably would have liked a little more interest, but we'll take a look at what each proposal looks like and see if it meets our needs," Kotchko said Thursday.
"But the four bidders that attended the mandatory walk-through at the Green's Farms station each submitted a bid, so I consider that a positive response."
The state Department of Transportation, which
owns the two stations, stipulated that bidders
attend town-organized visits of the rail depots, according to Kotchko.
In the RFP, town officials asked for bids of at least $500 monthly for a Green's Farms coffee concession and at least $1,400 per month for a Saugatuck station coffee establishment.
Town officials did not disclose by press time financial details of the coffee concession bids.
The new coffee establishments at the two stations could open by the early spring of 2013, according to Kotchko.
But a number of Green's Farms commuters have expressed their unhappiness about the possible departure of Green's Farms C&P. Scores of local residents have signed a petition, urging town officials to retain that concession at the station.
Green's Farms C&P is operating on a temporary basis at the Green's Farms depot.
The town's soliciting of new bids reflects a period of substantial change at the two stations. During the last year, the eastbound terminal at the Saugatuck depot has undergone a major renovation.
The improvements included refurbishment of the building's interior and exterior, as well as installation of solar panels on the station's roof.
The solar array will provide power to a new electric-vehicle charging facility at the station,
which is set to open within the next few weeks.
A renovation of the Green's Farms station is planned for next year, according to Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas, who also serves as the town's director of railroad operations.
The roster of town officials reviewing the bids will include Kotchko and Koskinas.
The town has also issued an RFP for a new service business in the Saugatuck station's eastbound stationhouse. That RFP has a deadline of Friday at 2 p.m.
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