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Home » » Village Board Rejects Bids for Ramp for M'burgh Village Hall

Village Board Rejects Bids for Ramp for M'burgh Village Hall

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 7/3/24 | 7/3/24

By David Avitabile

MIDDLEBURGH - Middleburgh village board members Tuesday rejected two bids for a ramp to make the historic village hall handicap accessible. The bids were about four times the estimated cost of the project.

The bid from Ganem Contracting was $268,000 and the bid from PCC Contracting was $303,600, both of which far exceeded the project budget, Mayor Tim Knight.

At a special meeting Tuesday, village board members agreed to put the project back out to bid in the fall with hopes of enticing a wider pool of potential bidders for the 2025 construction season, according to Mayor Knight.

The bids were to build a ramp, starting on Main Street and continuing onto the existing sidewalk beside Village Hall, to allow access through one of the building's side windows for handicapped persons, Mayor Knight noted.

Delaware Engineering, the village's engineering firm, estimated the project should've come in at $60,000 to $70,000.

The plans called for a concrete base to a wooden structure that would lead through a window on the side of the village hall. The specifications for the project call for Trex composite materials for the wooden section.

In April, village board members approved a contract with Delaware Engineering for $7,500 to help design a handicap accessible ramp on the side of the hall.

Once the actual cost is finalized, the village will decide on how to pay for the project. Village board members in April discussed whether to use $25,000 in savings to pay or bond out the entire cost. Board members were leaning toward bonding the costs for the project.

In December, board members agreed to contract with Delaware Engineering to prepare plans for making Village Hall handicapped accessible, Mayor Knight told board members. Since then, there were many phone calls, e-mails, and proposed plans concerning different pathways to making this project both technically and fiscally feasible for the village and its taxpayers, the Mayor added.

Several different options were considered, the Mayor said.

Officials considered the possibility of putting a wheelchair lift where the front stairs into Village Hall currently are and building a side entrance ramp into the building, but after consulting a lift specialist, that location was ruled infeasible due to the front entryway’s dimensions, he said.

Then the village and engineers considered the possibility of installing either a wheelchair lift or ramp into the rear of Village Hall, but that ended up being the most expensive and least convenient option, the Mayor added, as that would require the village to remove a dumbwaiter from the rear hallway, make additional ADA compliant improvements, and eliminate two to three parking spots, which would negatively affect both the Village Hall and Kelley’s Grill.

In addition to those options, the village also reconsidered the possibility of either installing a wheelchair lift or ramp into a side entrance of the building. After a lot of research the engineers found this approach to be the most affordable and technically feasible option.

There are two factors to choose a ramp instead of a lift, the Mayor said.

The two factors are: a ramp allows for "greater accessibility into Village Hall than a lift, since everyone – wheelchair bound folks, mothers with strollers, and residents who have difficulty climbing the existing steep stairs – would be able to utilize this entrance," and a ramp is likely to have fewer long-term maintenance issues than a lift, which will result in expensive service calls and eventual replacement when it deteriorates over time, Mayor Knight added.

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