Madison Street project moving right along

Greg Myers, Eagle Construction, puts the finishing touches on a new sidewalk along property owned by Tower Bank. The curbing has 18 inches of concrete, and seven inches will be exposed once Madison Street paving is complete. The sidewalk is four inches thick.

The Madison Street renovation project is moving right along. The owners of 74 properties have been notified of the timeline for the paving, and those that must install or repair their sidewalk and curb are cooperating with the Borough of Greencastle. Their work must be done by the first week of September so the borough can lay the base coat of asphalt. The final paving will be done in the spring.

Borough council met in a special session Monday afternoon to approve an intent to award for the paving. Four vendors submitted bids and the panel was surprised that the highest bid was nearly double the lowest.

Harry Foley, Matt Smith, James Farley, Paul Schemel and Duane Kinzer discussed the specifications of the bid. Craig Myers had intended to participate by speaker phone, but told them over the phone that he was called out on an emergency. The council still had a quorum.

Fayetteville Contractors, Inc. was chosen for its $151,508 bid. Other contenders were Valley Quarries, P&W, and David H. Martin, at $290,191.

Engineer Keith Moore, Frederick Seibert and Associates, explained that Madison from Jefferson to Linden, would be excavated where necessary. Weak areas would be repaired, and stone and asphalt then applied. Some sections would only need to be milled. The borough had already installed storm drains and a water main, and Columbia Gas was done with its realignment of lines in the multi-phase improvement project.

Moore’s firm had originally estimated the street construction would run $200,000.

“The highest bidder is out of range; the rest are close,” Moore said.

He assured Farley that Fayetteville could not come back with cost overruns, since the contract was on a unit price basis. If the borough changed the workload, the expense could change.

“With this project, I don’t see a lot of that,” he added.

Borough manager Kenneth Womack said an example of when that might be necessary was if a fuel tank was found underground, as occurred when Allison Street was improved.

The paving is budgeted for in the general fund, and Womack chose not to use liquid fuels money, which would limit paving to an Oct. 15 deadline. He wanted the flexibility in case it took longer.

Four property owners applied for financial assistance to pay for their curbs and sidewalks. Greencastle received $15,000 from the Franklin County Housing Trust for that purpose. The Public Facilities Committee reviewed the tax statements of the applicants right after the Aug. 22 meeting to verify eligibility. The money was distributed based on need and the length of sidewalk required for each of them.