Done Deal: Arkwright approves building bids

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OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen
Town of Arkwright Supervisor Brian McAvoy said it was “a big night” after the Town Board approved the bids for a new Highway Department building addition at a recent meeting.

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ARKWRIGHT — The talk of the town for years in Arkwright has been about the proposed building upgrades to the Highway Department garage and the Town Hall. After years of back and forth, through many different iterations of the project, the Town of Arkwright finally approved the bids for a new building.

“This is a big night,” Town of Arkwright Supervisor Brian McAvoy said immediately after the final bid was approved unanimously by the Town Board.

The plans call for a new-build, insulated pole barn addition for the Highway Department. The building will have three doors, including a pull-through door, with an entryway for visitors and package delivery. Office space will be created in the new building, as well. The town also plans to refurbish the current Town Hall as a meeting room and courthouse.

The Town of Arkwright contracted CPL: Architecture, Engineering, Planning to oversee the project and to assist in the bid process. The recent bid process was the third time Arkwright went out to bid on a building project in the past two years, with the initial plans for an all-encompassing building resulting in dramatically excessive costs. The second bid process, for just a Highway Department building addition, resulted in zero bids.

This time, Arkwright received two bids from a general contractor, two electrical contractor bids, and one bid from mechanical and plumbing contractors for the Highway Department building addition.

“All of the work we did, all of the greasing of the wheels we did with contractors … we got two bids,” McAvoy said.

The general construction bid was awarded to NCI Construction, of Lancaster, NY, in the amount of $742,000. The only other bid received by the Town was well over $1 million, according to McAvoy.

The electrical bid was awarded to Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric Corporation, of Jamestown as the low bidder in the amount of $50,300. The other bid exceeded $75,000, according to Board member Chris Jackson.

The only bid for mechanical contracting was made by Chautauqua Mechanical, of Falconer, approved by the Board in the amount of $45,288. The lone bid for plumbing work was also made by Chautauqua Mechanical, of Falconer, in the amount of $15,308.

In all, the Highway Department addition amounts to just over $850,000. CPL conducted a Value Engineering Study on behalf of the Town to evaluate options to lower the cost of the project. If the Town elected to not include heating in the plan, without concrete flooring in the garage, the Town would have saved approximately $136,000. The Town Board discussed the proposal at length over the following weeks after the study was conducted.

“For $136,000, when we have the money sitting, I’d rather go all in and get it done,” McAvoy said.

Town Board member Larry Ball stated, “In my book, $100,000 isn’t insignificant. I’ve labored over this a lot, and you can kick the can down the road, but the can always comes back and gets you. I’m in favor of it.”

Town Board member Lynn Bedford proudly exclaimed her support of the plans, which are along the lines of what she has advocated for since the project’s initial plans.

Each of the four low bids were approved by the Board unanimously, with payment to come from the Town’s General Fund Building Reserve. McAvoy claimed the Town is “healthy” in terms of finances.

McAvoy said of the money allocated to the new building and refurbishment of the Town Hall, “It’s a lot of money, more than any of us want to spend, but we’ve got it in the bank. It doesn’t impact anybody’s taxes, it doesn’t impact our operating ability, it doesn’t impact the highways. … This is money that has been saved up to do exactly what we’re doing.”

The Town receives payment from a Host Community Agreement and a Payment in lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement, totaling approximately $350,000 annually. The Town receives approximately $300,000 from property taxes, $300,000 in sales taxes, and $200,000 in CHIPS funds from New York State for road maintenance. McAvoy stated that administrative costs for the Town slightly exceed $200,000 annually. Including anticipated refurbishment costs, McAvoy estimated approximately $1.4 million in total will be spent, which amounts to less than half of the $2.9 million the Town will receive in total from hosting the windmills.

“We’ve got money in the bank to do everything we want to do on the building side and on the equipment side, to still leave ourselves a good operating reserve,” McAvoy said.

McAvoy said that by constructing a new Highway Department building addition, then refurbishing the Town’s remaining needs for a Town Court and meeting room, the Town will be “saving money in the long run” by avoiding contractual and engineering costs.

The building plans remain without an official timeline for completion. The project can proceed once the contracts are executed by CPL on behalf of the Town of Arkwright.

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Done Deal: Arkwright approves building bids

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