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Brasher officials say highway garge construction coming along well

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BRASHER FALLS - Brasher officials say that, despite the nasty winter weather, construction of their new highway garage is coming along well.

“They’ve got the foundation and concrete footer holes that need to be up,” Deputy Town Supervisor William D. Demo said. “It’s coming along very good.”

The challenge, Mr. Demo said, is the temperature required for the concrete to cure properly and not crack on days when outdoor temperatures have been at zero or below.

“When that concrete was curing, the heat was 105 degrees on top. The report said it was 57 or 59 degrees in the ground. It was able to cure properly,” he said.

Brasher officials awarded bids for the project at the end of November.

They awarded the general construction contract to Danko Construction Corp., Massena, who had bid $1,008,284 on the project. The contract for plumbing went to Norwood Plumbing, who had bid $66,700. The electrical contract was awarded to Jordstat Construction Inc., Alexandria Bay, who bid $98,949. Mechanical work was awarded to Eni Mechanical Inc., Gouverneur, who had bid $262,900.

During that meeting, Larry Danko, Danko Construction Corps., had said they would begin work on the parking lot and then the foundation.

So far, so good, according to Mr. Demo, who said contractors were taking a week-long break before resuming work.

“They wanted to get this done right before the spring because you’d have a mud situation driving in and out of there,” he said. “The project should be completed in the middle of August, according to the general contractor. It’s progressing better than expected with the weather conditions.”

The town purchased 5.35 acres from Leon Dishaw on County Route 53 in Helena for $35,000 for the new garage.

The current town garage in Helena was purchased from the St. Lawrence Seaway for $1 in 1958, and the town had to build the foundation and walls for the steel building that served as a storage shed for the Seaway. The building is too small for the highway department’s vehicles, hot air furnaces hang from the ceiling and some crumbling walls need repairs, officials say.

Town officials, who are using casino gaming compact funds for the project, had budgeted $1.3 million for the new building two years ago. Estimates from Beardsley Design Associates, the town’s architectural and engineering firm, had indicated it could cost from $1.2 million to $1.5 million. After the lowest responsible bids were tallied, the highway garage project came in at $1,436,833.

In February, town officials agreed to use a portion of their latest installment of casino gaming compact funds to pay for the entire electrical contract. The town’s latest compact check was for $198,357.78, and Town Supervisor M. James Dawson had said he planned to use the funding for the highway garage.

They are using $98,949 of the money to cover the complete electrical contract for Jordstat Construction, Inc. Another portion of the funds, $56,630.78, is covering a partial payment for the mechanical work by Eni Mechanical Inc.

In addition, councilmen agreed to dedicate $23,500 for Benny Gladding’s work as clerk of the works for the project. Mr. Gladding is on-site daily to ensure adherence to the engineer specifications, checking payrolls on prevailing wage laws and “doing general overseeing of the project,” Mr. Dawson said during the February meeting.

An additional $19,278 was designated to pay Atlantic Testing Labs for “testing for construction materials, compaction testing and concrete testing using particle-size compaction and compressive strength tests.”

The funding must still be approved by Empire State Development, and Mr. Dawson had suggested in February that it might be a couple of months before they received the check.

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