GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis city officials on Tuesday discussed changes and updates to the anticipated waterfront upgrades and amphitheater construction coming to the Public Access Area on First Avenue.
Ed Swisher, city representative, presented a slide show illustrating the various phases and finances of the project, as well as time lines and financial predictions.
“On phase one, we were awarded a $98,500 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Deadline for completion was June 30, 2016. The previous plan was to have this completed by October, but what we ran into when we did the advertisements for bid in June (2015) was no one was interested in the project for the amount of money,” Swisher said. “I think the economy (from a few years ago) has changed slightly. In 2008 and 2009, people were hungrier. They were willing to go out and take on a project at a lower cost. So, what we found is that we were going to have to combine two of the grants.”
Swisher said the city had received a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in the amount of little over $1 million for a cooperative boating facility. The Gallipolis Riverfront Project, or phase two as the construction is called, had a deadline of completion for Dec. 1, 2016, using the funds.
E.L Robinson, a consultancy firm hired by Gallipolis, and the city contacted ODNR to attempt to combine both grants. The organization allowed for the combination. It is hoped that by doing this, work can be more quickly completed.
The new schedule estimates that design will take place up through Feb. 29, 2016. The bidding contact and award process should take place between March 1 and May 9. Construction is anticipated to begin near May 10 and end in late November. The grants finally close out Jan. 3, 2017.
With vessel moorings costing little more than $500,000 and a boat dock costing more than $200,000, the city has decided to put the phase three part of the project on hold. According to grant paperwork, the city must come up with a 25 percent match that would cost approximately $270,000.
“Unfortunately, phase three, when I was going through all the paperwork over the boat mooring and transient dock, they require the 25 percent matching fund. These are just the cost estimates we have. Then we have to do mussel survey, engineering and inspection and a contingency plan,” Swisher said.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.