Watertown Firm To Head Belmont Center Reconstruction Project

Photo: What the completion of the Belmont Center Reconstruction project.

The Belmont Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, April 9, awarded Watertown’s Charles Contracting Company a nearly $3 million contract to complete the Belmont Center Reconstruction Project slated to be completed by the end of this year’s construction season.

“I’ve worked with them in the late 80’s and the 90’s and they have a good reputation,” Community Development Director Glenn Clancy told the board of the Rosedale Road firm.

Charles Contracting was the lowest of two bidders, said Clancy, noting the Watertown business’ offer of $2,934,000 was substantially lower than the competing bid of $3.7 million.

Clancy said the relatively high bids on the $2.8 million project was primarily due to the necessity of hiring a number of subcontractors for the work.

“This is not just a curb and street construction job,” said Clancy, noting the project requires electrical infrastructure work and landscaping expertise, forcing the general contractor to seek out the right “sub” to the do the work.

“You risk this type of bid” when there are many specific tasks making up the overall project, Clancy told the board.

In November, 2014, a special town meeting approved a two-part $2.8 million financing plan for the project in which an initial $1.3 million downpayment taken from the town’s free cash account is followed by the town issuing a $1.5 million, 15-year bond with the debt paid from same free cash account.

While slightly higher than the town’s offer, Clancy said funds already spent on underground sewer and water infrastructure will allow the bid to come under budget.

“They can do the work at that price,” Clancy said, noting the offer has a five-percent contingency in the town’s estimate.

Clancy said a timetable for construction would be coming soon, and the town will be setting up a hotline to answer questions or resolve problems.

Clancy expects the work to be completed by Nov. 1 but told the Board final landscaping could be delayed until the spring of 2016.

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  1. Jonathan Birge says

    I can’t believe we’re spending $3M to “pretty up” downtown right at the same time we’re fighting for overrides to fund decaying schools. Do we really need modern art downtown when we can’t even fund the important stuff? Is this even an improvement over just fixing the sidewalks and keeping the downtown otherwise the same? It’s a lot of money to move a few parking spots.

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