The two bids that were opened for flood levee repair project, July 12, far exceeded the state grant money Hawley Borough received.
HAWLEY - The two bids that were opened for flood levee repair project, July 12, far exceeded the state grant money Hawley Borough received.
The low bid, from Aaron Enterprises, York, Pa., was $303,340, or $419,730 if all the alternate work was included.
The grant, from the Department of Community & Development (DCED) totaled $163,115. This comes from fees collected by the state from the gas industry, drilling the Marcellus Shale.
“I guess we won’t be getting a furnace,” Mayor Kevin Hawk said after hearing the amount, commenting on a different item the borough also needs, at the Borough Hall.
The levee project has been described as the borough’s overriding priority for funding at this time. Last year, the borough failed a levee inspection and was informed that several large culverts under the massive, earthen levee need to be repaired or replaced.
Hawley is required to maintain the flood mitigation project, installed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1960’s. The culverts are over 50 years old. They have flaps to keep the river out of the town in the event of perilous river levels, as well as let storm water coming down the hills to exit and go to the river.
Discussing what to do next, the council conferred at the meeting with Lou Cozza, representative from Kiley Associates, the borough’s engineering firm.
He explained that the way the bid package was written, the base bid covers the “five worst” culverts. Alternative bid amounts were requested for five other culverts that are not of immediate priority. Ultimately, he said that all 10 culverts have to be addressed, and the borough has two years to do the work.
Councilwoman Michelle Rojas has taken the lead in searching for grants to cover this major expense, which far surpasses what borough taxes could hope to cover.
After much back and forth, the council passed a motion without any dissension, to table awarding the bids until the August 9th council meeting. In the meantime, Cozza will calculate the cost to do only the “worst three” culverts at this time, and Rojas will inquire further about the borough applying for a state PENNVEST loan.
Cozy said he will also ask the local contractors why they chose not to bid on the project. The two bidders are from out of the area. Ten contractors requested bid packets and eight came to the prerequisite pre-bid meeting.
Council will also hold a workshop on July 26, to discuss the project in more depth.
Although doing the work in stages would cost more in the long run, Councilman Joseph Faubel noted that they had no choice.
They are also reapplying for a state Local Share Account grant, which utilizes gaming funds.
(Some topics were covered by separate reports.)
[Other meetings items are planned in the print edition this Saturday.]
Hawley Council meets on the second Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, 94 Main Avenue. The office may be reached at 570-226-9545.