Four years after the Town of Millville purchased land for a town park, the town council has approved the contract for its construction.
At its Tuesday, Aug. 27, workshop meeting, the council voted to award the contract to the Whayland Company. The total cost of the project will be $1,707,595. In recent weeks, the council has been able to trim about $73,000 off the estimated cost of the project, largely through changes in materials and reconfiguring some of the aspects of the construction.
After the meeting, Town Manager Deborah Botchie lauded Whayland for their help with the cost reductions, saying, “They didn’t have to do that.”
Some of the cost savings included $15,000 in savings on a cupola by using different materials, changes in bathroom fixtures and construction to the tune of $9,700, and $5,200 in savings from changes in paving surfaces.
During the meeting, Town Engineer Andrew Lyons Jr., of George, Miles & Buhr, said he was satisfied that all the changes the Town had asked for had been added to the final contract with Whayland.
Council Member Ronald Belinko said Whayland “did a nice job of bringing the costs down, without compromising the integrity of the project.”
The council approved the contract 3-0. (Council Member Sharon Brienza was absent, and the council remains down a member following the departure of former mayor Robert Gordon due to his moving out of state.)
Newly appointed Mayor Steven Maneri said construction on the park project should begin shortly. As soon as Whayland officials sign the contract, Maneri said, “We will be taking that shovel and sticking it in the ground.”
Lyons said the contract calls for the project to be completed by the spring of 2020. A separate contract needs to be awarded for the planned pickleball courts.
The park will include walking and fitness trails, with state-of-the-art fitness-tracking equipment, a maritime-themed playground, indoor space for community events and sports, and outdoor space for community events, including a parking area for food trucks.
Due to the impending start of heavy construction at the park, the Town has decided to cancel for 2019 its annual Great Pumpkin Festival, which was to be held on the park property, located off Dukes Drive.
By Kerin Magill