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Heuvelton company submits lowest base bid for Tri-Town Community Center boiler replacement project

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BRASHER FALLS - Bids to replace a boiler in the Tri-Town Community Center were opened Wednesday afternoon, and base bids ranged from under 1$9,000 to more than $57,000.

The lowest bidder was Merkley Brothers Heating and Cooling, Heuvelton, who submitted a base bid of $18,500. With a $1,500 allowance to cover the cost of any hidden conditions that might come up, the total base bid was $20,000.

The company also submitted a bid for three alternates in the project - $3,300 to add a tankless water heater to the mechanical room, $2,500 to add a gas burner and chimney to the Zamboni room and $7,200 to add piping modifications to the Zamboni room.

The highest base bid of $57,500 was submitted by Burns Brothers Contractors, Potsdam. With the $1,500 allowance added in, their total base bid was $59,000. They also bid $13,800 for the first alternate, $7,300 for the second alternate and $18,200 for the third alternate.

All together, six companies submitted bids for the project, which will be bonded by the town of Brasher. Hyde Stone Mechanical, Watertown, had a total base bid of $25,488; Skelly Contractors, Ogdensburg, had a total base bid of $35,150; ENI Mechanicals, Inc., Gouverneur, had a total base bid of $39,900; and Cornerstone Services, Norwood, had a total base bid of $42,075.

Bids will be awarded during a special Brasher Town Board meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“We have to take a look at these things with the engineer,” Town Supervisor M. James Dawson.

Engineer John Carr, who is working with the Brasher-Stockholm Recreation Commission on the boiler replacement project, had earlier sent out requests for proposal for the project and received two responses back. The lump sum base bid from Arnold Oil, Inc., Malone, came in $48,000, while the lump sum base bid from Merkley Brothers Heating And Cooling LLC, Heuvelton, was nearly $36,000.

Because it was a request for proposal and not an official bid process, the bids could not exceed $35,000, Mr. Dawson said last month. That meant they had to officially put the project out for bids.

Recreation officials say that, by replacing the boiler, they anticipate savings of approximately $7,000 the first year.

Brasher officials plan to take out serial bonds to pay for the project, which will convert the boiler from fuel oil to natural gas, over a five-year period. St. Lawrence Gas extended natural gas service into the Tri-Town area this past year and the move is expected to generated considerable saving in energy costs.

The town is borrowing the money because the Recreation Commission has no authority to borrow money, according to Mr. Dawson.

But the $60,000 in bonding will also include the cost of installing a chiller barrel at the arena. The chiller barrel has already been purchased, but Recreation Commission Co-Chair David Stevens said Wednesday that they have not yet received quotes on how much it will cost to install it.

Recreation commission members have been looking to update the chiller barrel as part of infrastructure work on aging equipment at the arena. The chiller barrel is used to cool the Brine and is critical component of the refrigeration system.

If the boiler replacement and chiller barrel installation come in under $60,000, officials can look at adding alternates back in to the project.

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