FULTON, NY – City officials accepted a bid from Rowlee Construction, Inc. yesterday (May 18) at a special meeting of the Common Council relative to the remaining asbestos and demolition removal at the former Nestles site.
Specifically, the Fulton based construction company will remove the debris left on the 2.2 acre parcel of the former Nestles site located at 555 S. Fourth St. that is designated for supermarket chain, Aldi.
The city began requesting bids after the former contractor, Infinity Enterprises, backed out of their commitment to demolish the site in its entirety earlier this month.
Before pulling out of the contract due to financial losses, 75% of the buildings on the 24 acre site had been demolished including all buildings on the blueprint for Aldi at the corner of Fay and South Fourth streets.
Infinity had agreed to demolish the site at no cost to the city but with rights to all salvageable material on site in October of 2015, nearly two years later the contract was abandoned due to substantial financial losses incurring from a $10,000 weekly payroll and a low scrap price, according to Fulton Mayor, Ronald Woodward Sr.
The new contract with Rowlee Construction is not to exceed a price of $100,000 without additional authorization from the Common Council. As soon as all channels are approved through the Department of Labor, Rowlee expressed an immediate readiness to begin the project.
Estimated to be at least a two week job according to Mayor Woodward, Rowlee will receive a daily rate of $4,627.50, including the use of a bulldozer to make work quicker. Additionally, ten wheel trucks will charge $103.50 per hour and 18-wheel trucks will charge $138 per hour.
Some members of the public, including Oswego County Legislator Frank Castigila Jr., D-Fulton, expressed worry specifically to the use of a minimum amount of trucks daily, asking to add language of this nature to the contract.
Woodward noted that Rowlee had made notion to the use of three trucks, however, the disruption in work would not come from amount of trucks but instead from delay at the land fill, Woodward said.
City officials will meet with county officials today to determine whether the project can gain priority at the land fill to lessen any delay they may encounter or to alleviate the price of tipping fees of which the city is financially responsible for.
Despite city officials reaching out to several contractors, only three bids were received by deadline.
The two other bids came in from a Phoenix based contractor bidding a flat price of $333,000 and a Hannibal based contractor bidding a daily rate of $9,250 with trucking fees at $100 per hour and $135 per hour.
“I’m going to encourage the council to do this, I’m not going to let that sit. I’ve had enough of that nonsense up there. I am not going to let anyone take advantage of the city of Fulton, it’s not going to happen,” he said.
Woodward said the city intends to pay for the contract out of the $700,000 the city recently bonded for in March for the use on demolition of city owned properties.
To complete the contract with Aldi, Woodward added that the city is working with National Contracting, a contractor that works for Aldi nationwide, to complete the prep work on site including bringing the site to grade by raising it three feet. This work would be paid for off the sale price for Aldi which currently stands at $350,000.
The city has already purchased crushed brick from the site to be used for the parking area of the Aldi site and has gravel on site to be used under the building to bring to grade.
In accordance with the Aldi contract, the city will have 90 days after closing to demolish the building that lines State Route 481 as to provide clear visibility of the store.
This, and the remaining demolition on the entire site, will be bid separately at that time.
“I’ll tell you what, now you’re going find out what it actually cost to do this stuff,” Mayor Woodward said, explaining that the city was fortunate to be able to remove the majority of the site for free.
Only one building on the 24-acre site may remain standing as Mayor Woodward deems it can be usable with some renovations.
The building, near Burt Street, was once the “bean room” of the Nestles factory, Woodward said.
“That building is in pretty good shape and it doesn’t take up a lot of the property. I thought it would be nice if we could put a little bit of money in it to fix it up and make some type of museum with that Nestles stuff, so that people don’t forget what was there,” he said.
For now, the continued focus will remain on the intended Aldi site. A representative from Aldi confirmed after the former contractor backed out that the Fulton store will prevail, though a time line for construction was not readily available.
However, Tully Division Vice President, Aaron Sumida noted that Aldi was intending on a late fall grand opening.