2006-08-31 / Front Page

Town projects on time and on budget

By Sam Bari

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser told the Town Council Monday night that the town hall, wastewater treatment plant, and water treatment plant projects were all on schedule and on budget.

Jamestown architect Bill Burgin asked all three bidding contractors to resubmit price quotes, and all three bidders were still over the $3,000,000 budget allotted for the New Town Hall, Keiser said. However, "Pezzucco Construction reduced their quote by $240,000," he added. "This puts them at approximately $2,900,000, which is under the $3,000,000 mark. I suggested a 10 percent contingency fee, which is a normal practice, but Pezzucco said they were comfortable with the quote as it stands to cover costs," Keiser said.

"I also checked another of their references and the East Providence public works director said that their experience with Pezzucco was wonderful," the town administrator said.

Keiser wanted the council to meet next week to approve the bid. The council voted 40 to meet on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 5 p.m. to vote on the town hall bid and to sign the bid for the 150 kw generator for the Melrose Avenue School to Milton Cat of Milford, Mass., in an amount not to exceed $42,845. A Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency grant is covering the funding for this item. The council voted 4-0 to approve the Milton Cat bid.

Thielsh Engineering of Cranston was the only bidder for the wastewater treatment plant improvements. The firm's original bid of $2,900,000 exceeded the $2,600,000 that remained in the $7,500,000 budget for the wastewater system upgrade project. After negotiations, Thielsh brought its bid down by $400,000, which will put the bid in line with the project's budget. The bid was reduced because the town agreed to use its personnel to oversee the construction management of the wastewater treatment plant. The bid is yet to be awarded.

The Conservation Commission suggested that the town consider a Plan B designed by the commission for the wetlands mitigation plan adjacent to the proposed new water treatment plant on North Main Road. A meeting with Conservation Commission Chairman Chris Powell and Commissioner Carol Trocki and the state Coastal Resources Management Council established that the Conservation Commission plan was a broader plan that was excellent and of great merit. Keiser said that the "plan should be separate from the water treatment plan project and be initiated at a later date. Because time is of the essence, the project is going forward with Plan A as designed by Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, of

Burlington Mass., the project engineers contracted by the town as consultants for the project.

In other council business, Keiser introduced Maria Bierniak, the location manager for the Disney Productions film "Dan in Real Life." The romantic comedy starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche, and directed by Peter Hedges is scheduled to begin filming in Jamestown at an undisclosed house on Melrose Avenue in mid-October. They will be finished shortly after Christmas.

Councilman Bill Kelly asked if there would be any monetary benefit to the town from the project. Bierniak said that since the town does not charge for filming permits Disney would be happy to make a contribution to a worthy cause or project. Councilor Barbara Szepatowski immediately suggested that any contributions go to the proposed teen center for which she is seeking funding. The council approved the filming of the Disney production on Melrose Avenue by a 4-0 vote. Council President David Long was absent from the meeting.

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