October 3, 2008

Negotiations on Wharf Continue Greenville Considers Scaling Back Project to Meet Budget Constraints


GREENVILLE - Rather than rebid the Greenville Junction Wharf rehabilitation project, selectmen agreed Wednesday to continue negotiations with the low bidder for an amended scope of work that would not compromise the quality of the structure.

Town officials have about $825,000 available to rehabilitate the rotting wharf. The plan is to install steel pilings on the north side of the wharf, make improvements on the south side, and add amenities such as a paved asphalt walkway around the perimeter to help control erosion.

Al Hodsdon, the town's engineer, recommended Wednesday that selectmen continue negotiations with the lowest bidder, Wyman and Simpson of Richmond. The firm submitted a bid of $1,499,159 with additives of $54,575 for the wharf project

"There's several reasons that's a prudent thing to do," Hodsdon said. If the town rebid the project, the cost could be more. Since the town started the project about a year ago, the price of steel has nearly doubled. In addition, the firm, which has a good reputation, has some suggestions and modifications in the installation that make a lot of sense and actually reduce the cost, he said. Those modifications propose the use of a pre-cast retaining wall on the Wiggins Stream side of the wharf.

Hodsdon said the quality will not be compromised but the quantity will be affected. The town will be unable to do amenities such as the boardwalk and paving.

Greenville Town Manager John Simko said he also was continuing his investigation into the use of a plastic composites material that could be used instead or in combination with the precast retaining wall and he would have that information available for a special selectmen's meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, when negotiations continue.

At that special meeting, selectmen also are expected to discuss a lease for space at the business incubator, the completion of the bond to refund the fire apparatus account which funded the purchase of a used tanker-pumper, and a candidates night.

Regarding the wharf, Simko said if negotiations are successful, the most that could be done this year is the installation of the bulkhead and, depending on the water level, the boat ramp. The rest of the project would be completed next spring.

The lake is about a foot higher than normal as requested by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for the spawning of togue, Simko said. The DIF&W wants the lake level dropped later to leave some of the togue eggs high and dry in an attempt to reduce its population in the lake, he said.

Selectmen agreed it would be in the best interest of the town to continue with what work can be completed. It is hoped a plan of action will be developed at next week's meeting.

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