SKANEATELES | With a few cuts to the plan, the Skaneateles Town Board has awarded F. Rizzo Construction Inc. with the bid for the Western Gateway Improvement Project.
The bid came in as nearly $497,700, which was within $500 of the estimate created by project officials. However, the town aimed to decrease the scope of the project to bring that price tag down. The town's contribution combined with the federal grant awarded years ago for the construction plan totals $428,000.
Kelly Thompson, of the engineering firm Bergmann Associates, drafted a letter identifying places in the project that could be reduced to address that shortfall while achieving the overall goal of the plan. The town decided to cut from the long-anticipated project rather than foot an additional bill of $160,100, on top of the grant and town matching funds.
Board Member Rick Keyes said the items that were cut are "superficial" changes, such as a reduction of benches, trees and a gateway sign from the design. Because the project intends to create a pedestrian friendly corridor to extend from the village, the modifications targeted landscaping and benches won't impede pedestrian safety.
Keyes suggested the town award the bid to the Auburn construction company based on final contract negotiations.
"The core of the project is still the same, pedestrian safety and traffic control and beautification of the western gateway," Keyes said.
The plan's goals are to improve safety for walkers as well as motorists, offer visual cues to drivers that they are entering Skaneateles and enhance the historic character. The design will target the stretch of Route 20 from the Red Apple gasoline station to the village border at Fuller Street. The project's design includes installing a new sidewalk on the north side of West Genesee Street for the safety of pedestrians along the corridor and curbs along the shoulder and streetscape to improve traffic safety.