Big score before going back out to bid

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BRATTLEBORO — After Select Board members heard the already anticipated results of the bid process for constructing a skatepark - that the bids came in too high - they were given some good news.

"About an hour before our meeting tonight, we found out the Vermont Community Foundation Withington Fund has come through with $75,000," Carol Lolatte, director of recreation and parks, said Tuesday. "So still not quite enough to get the job done."

The board celebrated the announcement and took Lolatte's recommendation to reject the bids. She plans to "rescope" the project and find potential elements for town staff to complete.

Lolatte and Brattleboro Area Skatepark Is Coming Committee members previously told the Select Board that they expected bids to come in higher than they had estimated. A request for proposals went out and three were submitted by March 27 ranging in price from $284,895 to $379,000.

"When we combined it altogether and added in what has to be paid out to the designer Stantec, that left us with approximately $96,000," said Lolatte, adding that she and the committee had been "scurrying around" trying to find ways to fund the construction.

Lolatte expects to need to raise an additional $21,000. She plans to put the project out to bid again within a month.

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Lolatte and the committee have faced "a lot of adversity," said Select Board Chairwoman Brandie Starr.

"I really appreciate the $75,000 coming in," she added.

Lolatte said the Withington Fund has been very supportive of the skatepark, providing more than $100,000 in grants since 2016. She anticipates construction at Living Memorial Park could be "completed by snowfall."

Since Select Board member Elizabeth McLoughlin and an "inactive participant" will no longer be on the skatepark committee, its chairman Jeff Clark asked to reduce the number of committee members from seven to five. The Select Board obliged.

"Thank you, Liz, for your years of service on the skatepark committee," Clark said. "The experience and enthusiasm you bring will be missed."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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