GLOVERSVILLE — Crews are expected to break ground on a long-awaited project off Frontage Road in Gloversville come Monday.
Public Works will strip asphalt from existing grounds at Trail Station Park before handing off much of the splash pad and recreational infrastructure project to outsourced labor.
A special Common Council meeting was held late last week to approve lead construction contractor Birdsall Excavation Construction in hopes of dodging scheduling delays along the way. The next regular meeting is April 11.
“We want to make sure that we get that place open in the middle of the summer,” Mayor Vincent DeSantis said.
DeSantis aims to have the project completed by July 1 and do “something special” for a grand opening celebration on July 4. He expects that the new area will be used immediately.
“Once it’s open, the recreation commission has a summer enrichment program for children, so they’ll be visiting a lot over there,” the Democratic mayor said.
CHA Consulting was contracted in December 2018 to determine the estimated cost of installing a splash pad in the West Fulton Street park under scandal-ridden Republican Mayor Dayton King.
Less than a year later, Gloversville was awarded $345,000 from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the project, which foots 75% of the total bill.
Construction was originally planned to start in spring of 2020, but was put on pause due to the emergence of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Plans were delayed further after the city briefly considered placing the splash pad, instead, near Kingsboro Towers — an alternative ultimately nixed because it didn’t meet state grant requirements.
The Common Council’s approval of New Scotland-based Birdsall last week still requires final state approval.
Of four companies, Birdsall’s bid was $270,000 — $170,000 less than the highest request-for-proposal. City officials grilled the company at the special meeting to see if “something was wrong” with the bid.
“When you have that much of a disparity, you’re thinking, ‘is there something wrong with the bid and did they not see something?'” DeSantis said. “Because we wanted to be sure that the person was capable and so we did.”
Subcontractors will also carry significant weight over the project. Grant guidelines require the city to meet respective quotas on women- and minority-owned businesses represented in construction.
“When you get money from the state or federal government, it comes with requirements that you have to follow, but it’s well worth it because we’d never be able to have access to that much money. grant money otherwise,” DeSantis said.
Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected] Follow him on Facebook at Tyler A. McNeil, Daily Gazette or Twitter @TylerAMcNeil.