Legislator says grant funding is secure
By Holly Crocco
After receiving three bids that were all over-budget for the construction of a senior center at the former Butterfield Hospital site in Cold Spring, Putnam County in November went back to the drawing board to re-scope the project.
The county plans to lease 6,000 square feet of space to operate a senior center in the Lahey Pavilion over a period of 15 years at a total cost of about $4.5 million, including rent, taxes, common area charges and renovation.
In 2016, the Legislature approved an $800,000 bond referendum for the initial costs to retrofit the space. A request for proposals was issued for the project, and of the three bids received, the lowest was $1.8 million.
John Tully, the deputy commissioner of highways and facilities, explained at the Jan. 17 meeting of the Physical Services Committee that changes in the HVAC system have been made, and that the Highway Department stepped in to do demolition and “rough plumbing” to reduce the scope of the project put out to bid and get it back within budget.
The county spent about $7,500 on this work, said Tully. “Our target is by the end of the month to have that bid back out, repackaged,” he said.
Tully said the interior of the Lahey Pavilion is much different than when the project was first put out to bid. “It’s a real clean slate — a lot different than what the contractors saw when they did the walk-through the first time,” he said. “We’re crossing our fingers we’ll have a successful project here. We’re on the right track.”
Legislator Carl Albano (R-Carmel) complimented the Highway Department.
“We have a great workforce but there’s a lot to be done, so they do what they can and then we pick and choose our battles,” he said, explaining that certain projects such as the senior center are simply too large to be completed in-house. “In certain instances, we have to give out the work.”
Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra (R-Philipstown) said that, despite the delay because of the higher-than-expected bids, the $250,000 in state funds pledged by both State Sen. Sue Serino (R-Hyde Park) and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) are secure. “They’ve assured me that the grants are solid,” she said.