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Brasher opens bids for new highway garage

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BRASHER FALLS - Brasher Town Board members should know late this week or early next week how much it will cost them to construct a new highway garage after opening bids from several contractors Wednesday afternoon.

Nine contractors bid on the general construction, five contractors bid on plumbing, six contractors bid on electrical and three contractors bid on heating-ventilation and air conditioning.

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.

Representatives from Beardsley Design Associates, Malone, the town’s architectural and engineering company, will now review the bids and recommend the lowest responsible bidders to town officials.

Barry Halperin, architect from Beardsley Design Associates, said they could have a recommendation for town officials possibly by Monday.

“We’re not awarding bids this evening. We may know tomorrow or we may not,” Town Supervisor M. James Dawson said.

He told the contractors who were present for the bid openings that the project had been a long time coming - at least three years. They are using casino gaming compact funds to pay for the garage, and those funds had been held up until recently.

“It’s been at least three years on again, off again until we got some funding. I hope we’re on again,” he said. “I know this seemed like kind of a quick deal, but we’ve been planning for some time. We’ve got our ducks in a row.”

He said that, if contractors could see their current highway garage, they would know why town officials were anxious to construct a new building.

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.

The project had been on hold while the town waited for casino gaming compact funds to flow again. Once that happened, board members moved ahead with plans for the garage in June, agreeing to enter into a contract with Beardsley Design Associates to begin work on the building. Beardsley Design Associates had worked with the town on the construction of their municipal building in Brasher Falls several years ago.

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