Let’s get the facts straight concerning the Downtown Redevelopment Project

Editor’s note: the following is a response by City Administrator Roche to a statement paid for and published in the June 28, 2004 edition of “The Scoop.”

The City of Winslow received the first TEA-21 grant in 1999. In 2000, a committee hired E-Group Landscape Architects. Part of the City’s match was to hire an architect to help develop the project and E-Group’s fee was never included as a part of any construction cost for Phase I of the redevelopment project. A task force, and later the Joint Task Force, was appointed and given the responsibility to provide input on Phase One and Phase Two of the Downtown Redevelopment Project.

On May 1, 2003, the Joint Task Force recommended to the City Council that E-Group proceed with the Phase I drawings. Nodes, or gateways, were approved as a part of the task force recommendation and trace the history of Winslow. They will be located at the end of north/south streets, such as Winslow and Warren.

Per the recommendation of the Joint Task Force, and the approval of the City Council, the construction budget was set not to exceed $1,000,000. Bids were opened for the project on April 27, 2004. The low bid was $1,177,522. To meet the City Council’s direction, city staff reduced parts of the bid, including potential change orders, to meet the $1,000,000 budget.

By unanimous vote at their June 8, 2004, meeting, the City Council awarded a contract for the First Phase Downtown Redevelopment to McCauley Construction for $961,143, and authorized city staff to expend up to $38,857 for change orders, if necessary.

To reduce costs, city street crews will do demolition and installation of some curbs and gutters. Also, city staff will be responsible for the construction administration; however, on June 8, 2004, a unanimous City Council authorized the expenditure of $5,000 to pay E-Group and their consultants for four (4) visits to the construction site. This cost will have no impact on the construction budget.

Also on June 8, 2004, the City Council unanimously approved the submittal of an application for a third TEA-21 grant. The request includes a performance plaza, removal of the police/court complex to create a town square and additional parking for downtown businesses, and the conversion of the Police Detectives’ offices into public restrooms and an unmanned area to provide tourist information such as things to do and see in Winslow.

If the application is successful and Winslow receives the grant, there will be a three-year planning process. Public comment/participation is required prior to funding in 2007. The Joint Task Force’s responsibility was only input on Phase One and Phase Two. Another task force could be formed to provide input for Phase Three and/or any future phases.

The construction drawings for Phase One of the Downtown Redevelopment Project can be seen at City Hall during normal business hours.

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