Conway puts project for new highway garage out for bidding requests
Conway’s current highway garage, above, on Route 116. Selectboard Chairman John O’Rourke has expressed disappointment after the town voted against a proposed $2.7 million new highway garage.
(Recorder/Micky Bedell) Purchase photo reprints »
The salt shed in Conway.
Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
CONWAY — To obtain a realistic estimate of how much a new highway garage would cost the town ahead of a special town meeting, Conway’s Selectboard has issued a request for bids from contractors.
At a special town meeting June 16, the project failed by two votes. Opponents said the $3.6 million proposal was too expensive.
Later that month, the Selectboard voted to spend an additional $50,000 to make the blueprints 70 percent complete, which would give prospective bidders more information to bid on. According to Town Administrator Tom Hutcheson, they are now 100 percent complete.
When the project was originally defeated, the documents were only 30 percent complete.
Bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Sept. 25. The town will also accept sub-bids for plumbing, electrical and heat, ventilation and air conditioning work until 2 p.m. on Sept. 18.
According to Hutcheson, the town is asking for separate bids on a five- and 10-bay building design.
“I don’t think there will be much of a difference, and there will be additional costs that come up later if we shave off five bays now,” Hutcheson said. “We’re trying to save every penny.”
After the bids have been publicly reviewed by the board, another proposal will be brought before special town meeting Oct. 6. If approved, the project would then be put to a ballot vote.
Depending on when the election is held, Hutcheson said, the project could break ground and have the foundation in place before the ground freezes.
The new highway garage would replace the town’s current, deteriorating facility on Route 116, which officials say has inadequate storage space and heating, fails to provide protection from the elements for vehicles and equipment and does not meet disabilities requirements.
The new garage would be located behind the salt shed on town property adjacent to the Conway Grammar School.