BERLIN– Demolition work at Heron Park is expected to start within 30 days following selection of a contractor this week.
The Berlin Town Council on Monday accepted a $112,715 bid from JNT Enterprises for the demolition of three sections of the former processing plant at Heron Park. Company representatives are also expected to provide the town with a price for demolishing even more of the old building. Elected officials want to clear as much of the site as they can with the town’s $500,000 strategic demolition grant.
“We’re not trying to be difficult we’re just trying to fully expend the grant,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said.
Earlier this month, the town received two bids in response to a request for proposals (RFP) for the demolition of the middle section of the old processing building. The town asked for prices on tearing down sections one and two of the structure, the portions in the worst condition, as well as prices for adding in section three. Including alternates, Reynolds Excavating bid $452,500 and JNT Enterprises bid $112,715.
Officials acknowledged the disparity in bids this week. Justin Miller of JNT Enterprises said he could only speak for the proposal he’d submitted.
“We cut you a fair price,” he said. “That’s what we were going for.”
Council members were eager to know what JNT Enterprises would charge for knocking down even more of the old processing plant. Miller said he’d have to run the numbers and could provide cost estimates in a couple weeks. Andrew Welch of Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc. pointed out that no one yet knew the foundation conditions workers would find on the portion of the building that will be left closer to the road and the portion of the building more toward the back of the property once the middle section was torn down.
Councilman Steve Green said JNT Enterprises had come highly recommended.
“The value we’re going to get out of this work is welcome,” he said.
Tyndall said town officials were grateful to receive the two bids that were submitted for the demolition, which has been discussed for years.
“We’re really looking forward to working together on the project,” he said.
After the council accepted the bid, Councilman Jack Orris asked about the future of Heron Park.
“We probably should decide what we want to do with this property,” he said.
Green said if the town sold the land outright it would have no say in what was done with the property after that.
David Gaskill, the town attorney, said if officials wanted to try selling the land again, the best way to do that was by seeking proposals. He said that while an RFP wasn’t required it would give officials more influence on the future of the property.
“I think the RFP process if you want control is cleaner,” he said.
Tyndall said it was too early to begin drafting an RFP since officials didn’t yet know how much of the processing plant would end up being demolished.
“I think need those add ons first so we have a clear idea of what we’re doing. I think we’re at least 45 days out before we can start shaping an RFP,” he said.
Town Administrator Mary Bohlen agreed and said the town was about to start the budget development process.
“There’s still a lot to be done,” Bohlen said.