Luter concession stand bids higher than expected

Published 6:22 pm Friday, April 26, 2024

Smithfield’s Town Council is proposing to move forward with a concession stand for the football field at the Luter Sports Complex despite bids coming back higher than expected.

According to an April 22 memorandum from Town Manager Michael Stallings to the council, the lowest bid was $624,900 by Athens Building Corp., the same contractor currently rebuilding the footbridges at Windsor Castle Park. The next lowest bid was $799,000.

The town had originally planned to spend $445,000 from its share of American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, federal pandemic relief money on a nearly 4,000-square-foot maintenance building for all three town-owned parks, but after expected costs soared to $1.1 million, it reallocated the funds to the concession stand, which as of September was estimated at $250,000.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Parks and Recreation Director Amy Novak told the council at its April 22 work session that building the two-story, 600-square-foot concession stand out of brick to comply with a 2023 change in the town’s zoning ordinance that set design standards for government-owned buildings was a contributor to the smaller project’s rise in cost. The concession stand building will also house bathrooms and a second-floor conference space for Smithfield Packers Youth Sports, which administers the park’s football program.

According to Stallings’ memo, with construction administration costs and a 10% contingency set aside, the total project cost will be $696,790, which will necessitate an additional $251,790 to move forward.

Stallings has recommended pulling the additional money from the town’s remaining ARPA funds. Of the roughly $8.7 million the town was allotted in 2021, roughly $1.18 million remains unallocated.

Pulling an additional $251,790 from ARPA would drop the available total to just over $928,000.

“My concern is if we don’t do it now, what’s the cost going to be if we put it off?” said Mayor Steve Bowman.

The council expects to vote on the additional funding when it reconvenes on May 7.

Stallings said the town received six bids, of which all but Athens’ would have put the project’s cost at or above $800,000.

The proposed concession stand will be built to match the style of an existing concession stand and restroom building serving the park’s baseball fields.