FULTON, NY – The beginning of the Lake Neatahwanta cleanup is just days away as community members unravel the last few inches of the bureaucratic red tape that has been strangling the project for years.
On Friday (Aug. 8) afternoon Joe Fiumara, director of the Fulton Community Revitalization Corp (FCRC) and also director of the city’s Community Development Agency opened the sealed bid packages to select the company to begin dredging the accumulated sludge from the lake bottom.
This is the first step that scientists have recommended to return the lake water to a healthy condition, and toward reopening the beaches which have been closed for more than 25 years.
Present for the opening of the bids was FCRC member and former 3rd Ward Alderman Bob Weston, Common Council President and FCRC member Dan Knopp, FCRC member Doug Chapman, 5th Ward Councilor Jay Foster and Mayor Ron Woodward, also an FCRC member.
With two bids on the table, Fiumara read them both aloud.
The low bid submitted was from Groh Dredging & Marine Construction.
“Tim Groh met with us during the bidding process,” Fiumara said as he scanned through the submitted materials. “The cost for the accumulation of 10,000 cubic yards from Groh Dredging is $118,965.20.”
“That’s in the budget,” the mayor said.
“That’s in the budget,” Fiumara affirmed.
In April 2013, Senator Patty Ritchie announced the Fulton and Granby communities were awarded $200,000 to be split evenly among them to assist with the cleanup of the lake.
There was a caveat in the grant that each community had to use its $100,000 within one year.
In January, The Shineman Foundation granted $20,000 to the FCRC to bolster their coiffures for Fulton’s dredge work.
Mobile Dredging and Pumping Company submitted the other bid which came in at $327,200.
As the FCRC, a non-profit organization, is the governing body of the lake clean up its members will have to do a proxy vote on Monday to approve the contract.
“Once that’s done we have to get a copy of the bid to the state, because they funded the first $100,000,” Fiumara said. “I’ve already checked to make sure none of the bidders were on the state debarred list. Once the state approves the contract we can let Groh know and get them mobilized.”
Fiumara expects to be able to notify the contractor early next week.
Meanwhile, although Groh’s bid does not specify a start date it does assure the community that his company will complete the first stage of the project within 30 days of the bid date, which would be Sept. 8.
“If the project is awarded it will be complete within 30 days of this submittal. That’s huge. That’s great,” the FCRC director added.