2017-10-19 / Front Page

Town wants better estimate for clubhouse

Architects will refine preliminary $1.91 million plan for golf course facility

The town councilors Monday night tasked their architectural team with getting a more concrete price projection for the proposed clubhouse, which initially was estimated to cost $1.91 million.

“This will put more faith in the numbers,” Councilwoman Mary Meagher said.

Architect Bill Burgin unveiled the preliminary plan for the golf course in May that suggested a nearly $2 million price tag for the base building. Because the councilors were uncomfortable with the rough numbers, they tabled a vote during that meeting, eliminating the possibility for a bond referendum in 2017.

If this phase goes smoothly, Town Administrator Andy Nota said a referendum could be put before the voters at the 2018 financial town meeting.

By designing 50 percent of the plan, Nota said, estimators will firm up their projections using fine points from Burgin’s blueprint, such as electrical lighting and carpentry finishes. This process uses fewer assumptions than the number unveiled in May, he said.

Also, the town’s planning team will be able to tweak minutiae from Burgin’s initial plan, which didn’t delve into enough detail for the town to make changes.

“We can become more efficient with the numbers,” Nota said. “Then, if needed, we can start to reduce the overall cost.”

Nota said this phase, which is expected to take two months, only will affect the base bid. However, the council has previously deemed $225,000 for cart storage necessary, so Nota said that could be considered during this phase. Other alternatives that have been discussed, including a $109,000 gazebo, a $500,000 walkout basement with decking and $364,000 to construct a second floor with an additional $409,000 needed to finish that level, will not be considered during this phase.

According to a memo from Burgin, it will cost the town $67,700 for his firm to determine an accurate cost estimate, although $25,000 is from work already completed. If Burgin were to continue managing the project after the 50-percent design, he said the total cost would be roughly $120,000, or about 6 percent of the projected cost.

The lease at the course was set to expire at the end of this year, but extenuating circumstances allowed the town to extend the agreement with the Mistowski family into 2018. The operators pay $175,000 annually to lease the golf course.

Because debt service on the property was retired a decade ago, the town has been setting aside $25,000 into a reserve fund for capital improvements to the course. That coffer currently has $190,000. The remaining $150,000 is added to the general fund.

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