PERTH - The Town Board voted Thursday night to reject all the bids it had received for construction of a new town garage.
Citing concerns that cold weather could lead to more costs and problems, the board decided to seek new bids on the project and delay the work till spring.
Board members didn't have an easy time making the decision and were initially split, with Walter Kowalczyk and Gay Lewandowski in favor of going through with the project.
Town voters had approved spending up to $600,000 for the project, but all of the 13 bids exceeded that amount. The basic construction alone would cost $588,000, officials say.
"I'm for going with it this year, so we don't go over that $588,000," Kowalczyk said. "We're not going to get a better price."
Town officials have talked about revising the specifications to have town workers do some of the labor, which would shave an estimated $41,000 off the total cost.
Town Supervisor Greg Fagan brought up concerns about the ability to complete the 60-day project before the winter weather comes.
With the projected cost just shy of the town's $600,000 spending limit voted on by the residents last November, Fagan and Highway Superintendent David Dopp expressed concerns that the cost of heating would force the town to go over the limit.
"Sixty days is a best-case scenario. That's if the weather cooperates," Fagan said.
Board members originally weren't sure if they could reject all the bids, but Town Attorney Carmel Greco advised them that the $41,000 change in the specifications constitutes enough of a change to issue a new request for bids.
Now the board members will look over their options and plan to solicit news bids in January for spring construction. This doesn't come without worries of its own regarding costs of the project.
"I think we're running the risk of getting the same or more," Fagan said. "It all depends on the economy."
The town's next meeting will be Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., with three public hearings scheduled: