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Bids for Brasher highway garage come in over budget

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BRASHER FALLS - Brasher Town Board members will need to make a decision on how to proceed with their proposed highway garage after bids came in over budget.

Town Supervisor M. James Dawson told board members Wednesday that the low bid for the project was $1,536,833, which was approximately $236,000 over budget. He did not identify the companies that had been certified as the lowest responsible bidders.

“Those are the low bids that came in last week,” he said.

General construction bids ranged from a high of $1,316,000 from Continental Construction, LLC, Gouverneur, to a low of $798,750 from B-S Industrial Contractors, Inc., Gouverneur.Other bidders included Northern Tier Contracting, Inc., Gouverneur ($1,289,400); Murnane Building Contractors, Plattsburgh ($1,237,000); Meridian Construction Corporation, Gilford, N.H. ($1,194,377); Heritage Homes, Massena ($1,160,000); Bette & Cring, LLC, Watertown ($1,129,000); Con Tech Building Systems, Inc., Gouverneur ($1,123,725); and Danko Construction Corps., Massena ($1,008,284).

Bids for the plumbing work ranged from a high of $135,000 from Heritage Homes, Massena, to a low of $66,700 from Norwood Plumbing, Inc., Norwood.Other contractors who bid on the plumbing were Hyde Stone Mechanical Contractors, Potsdam ($70,474); Eni Mechanical, Inc. Gouverneur ($74,700); and Black River Plumbing and Heating, Black River ($88,400)

Contractors bidding on the electrical work submitted a general bid, along with an alternate for a standing power electrical generator. The lowest bid was offered by Heritage Homes, Massena, at $98,000, with an alternate of $27,000. The highest bid came from Mountain Lake Electrical, Inc., Plattsburgh, at $154,750, with an alternate of $32,200.Other bidders were $127,500 from Dow Electric, Inc., Malone, with an alternate of $35,600; $126,580 from S&L Electric, Colton, with an alternate of $31,580; $102,300 from Eni Mechanical, Inc., Gouverneur, with an alternate of $41,500; and $98,949 from Jordstat Construction, Inc, Alexandria Bay, with an alternate of $38,718.

The lowest mechanical bid came from Eni Mechanical, Inc., Gouverneur, at $262,900. The highest, $299,900, was from Ductman Mechanical, Norfolk. Black River Plumbing and Heating, Black River, submitted a bid of $296,150.

Mr. Dawson said Wednesday that they have to consider other expenses that are also part of the project, but not associated with the bids that were opened last week.

“We have to add a clerk of the works. We have to add the installation of a water line. We have to add the balance we owe the architects/engineers,” he said, suggesting all their expenses could reach $1.6 million.

“We’re going to have to figure out how to do this,” he said.

Mr. Dawson said they could choose to accept the low bids and move forward with the project, or put it out for re-bid. They had hoped to begin the project this year.

He had noted in September that they had originally budgeted $1.3 million for the new building two years ago, and the cost estimates from Beardsley Design Associates, Malone, their architectural and engineering firm, indicated it could cost anywhere from $1.2 million to $1.5 million to construct it.

He said they had already spent more than $100,000 on the project, including the cost to purchase the land, conduct an archaeological study, drill and survey the property. There have also been expenses payable to Beardsley Design Associates.

He had told contractors last week that the project was a long time coming - at least three years. It has hinged on the availability of casino gaming compact funds, which the town is using to pay for the project to avoid any tax burden on residents.

The current town garage located in Helena was purchased from the St. Lawrence Seaway for $1 in 1958, and they had to build the foundation and walls for the steel building that had served as a storage shed for the Seaway.

The building is not big enough for the highway department’s vehicles, hot air furnaces are hanging from the ceiling and some of the walls are crumbling and have needed repairs, according to town officials.

A salt shed and sand are also kept at a separate location owned by the town on Meyers Road, meaning highway personnel have to travel from the town garage to that site every time they need to load up.

Town officials purchased 5.35 acres of property from Leon Dishaw on County Route 53 in Helena for $35,000 for the new municipal garage. They had initially budgeted $1.3 million for the new building two years ago and have already spent more than $100,000 on the project, including the cost to purchase the land, conduct an archaeological study, drill and survey the property. There have also been expenses payable to Beardsley Design Associates.

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