2006-06-29 / Front Page

Bids on new town hall over budget

By Dotti Farrington

Town officials Monday opened four bids, all over budget, for the contract to build a new town hall complex on Narragansett Avenue. The bids ranged from $3.4 million to $4.3 million. Voters at the June 5 annual financial town meeting approved spending up to $3 million on the proposed project.

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser presided at the opening with Deputy Pubic Works Director Michael Gray and architect William Burgin, a Jamestown resident. Keiser at the Town Council meeting Monday night said that the rules on bidding procedure provide for the town to negotiate the costs with the three lowest bidders when all bids exceed the budget for the project.

The bids were: Pezzuco Construction of Cranston, $3,435,395; ADS Construction of East Providence, $3,690,000; J. G. Edwards Construction of Portsmouth, $3,983,000; and Parker Thompson of East Providence, $4,318,128.

In anticipation of the possibility of bids being more than expected, officials had discussed the option of buying modular units for some of the construction.

Keiser said talks with the low bidders were slated to start Wednesday. The town will also review possible economies and possible redesign so that the project can be built within the approved budget.

The town administrator said the low bidder, Pezzuco, said that it based its bid on those of subcontractors ,and that some subcontractor bids were higher than Pezzuco expected. Keiser did not say how that might affect the outcome of any negotiations.

The town distributed 16 sets of construction plans to contractors, sub-contractors, and vendors, but some were returned unused. The town was expecting about 10 or 12 bids on the project. Town officials said they did not know why only four bids were received.

Councilman William Kelly speculated that the decision made about the project's budget before the bid opening led to bidders submitting high estimates, but no other official publicly discussed implications of the process or its outcome.

Keiser said he expected to have a staff recommendation ready for the July 10 council meeting.

Among projects completed by Pezzuco is the $1.4 million, 8,500square-foot city library in Riverside in October 2005.

According to state corporation data available through the secretary of state's office, Pezzuco was established in 1987 as a general contractor. Richard Pezzuco is president and Ronald Pezzuco as vice president and treasurer of the corporation. The two Pezzucos are also listed as officers of Pezzuco Brothers Development, at the same address, started in 1995, as a separate entity for residential work.

ADS Construction was established six years ago for non-residential building with Anthony DePasquale as primary officer.

J. G. Edwards Construction was started in 1977 for construction, renovations, and repairs, with John G. Edwards III as principal.

Parker Thompson was established for construction management in 2001.

Glenn Parker is the president. The firm was originally Parker, Thompson and Brouillette.

Burgin's plans for a new town hall call for a new large two-story rectangular building and renovation

or replacement of the existing single-level Town Hall. Town Hall now has 2,400 square feet and would become a meeting space for up to 100 people. The new building was listed at 10,400 square feet for most town offices, which are now at more than three locations.

Residents who previewed the design plans last year applauded them, especially their use of the existing Town Hall.

The new two-story element, with an elevator, will be connected to the old structure by a glass corridor over a 10-foot-wide walkway between Narragansett Avenue and West Street.

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