Bids for The Point opened

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

SOUTH POINT - The future of the The Point continues to take shape as bids were opened Tuesday for sewer, water and road construction within the

industrial park.

Four bids were received but because each infrastructure bid was designed with 11 alternatives, it is too soon to accurately say who submitted the best bid, park manager Billy Price said.

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"We do not have a firm bid as of yet. We have a lot of deductive alternatives," he said. "We can't say who the low bidder is. We have several ways we can go."

Price said they should have a better idea of who has the lowest bid by the end of the week, but it will probably be several weeks before the contract is awarded.

The bids were to construct approximately 10,000 feet of sewer, 10,000 feet of water lines and 9,600 feet of roadways within 180 acres of the 504-acre park.

In addition to various internal roads, the project would also construct a two-lane blacktop road connecting County Road 1 with Collins Avenue near the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce, Price said.

The four companies that bid on the project and their base bids are: Bill Enyart & Sons Contracting of South Point, $2,941,792; DGM Inc. of Peebles $3,017,629; Boone Coleman Construction Inc. of Portsmouth, $3,139,187; and Red Dawson Construction of Huntington, W. Va., $3,190,503.

"I think for the last two to three months all our efforts, energy and emphasis have been placed on bringing this project to bid," said Bill Dingus, executive director of the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation.

"We are very happy we have moved to the next level to see if funding can be identified to go ahead and accept the low bid."

Though this is just the first step, Price said they are excited to get the project going. Depending on the contractor and the alternatives chosen, the construction phase could create 25 to 50 jobs, he said.

Price said he does not anticipate construction to begin until April. The bids called for construction to be completed within 180 days of the start date barring any unforeseen conditions.

The engineering firm Woolpert and Associates of Ashland, Ky., have been working on stages of the design work for two years. Their estimate of the project cost was $2.68 million, said Ralph Kline, director of community development for the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

So far, $2.25 million in funding has been identified. The Economic Development Administration has conditionally awarded a $1.57 million grant, pending approval of the bids. The LEDC has committed $35,000 and the remainder has come from a combination of grants from the Ohio Department of Development, Kline said.

"If there is a need for more funds, there are dollars set aside under the Empowerment Zone program," Kline said. "It really goes back to the deductive alternatives that we think are needed or wanted."

Plans for the industrial park have continued to move forward in recent months.

Last month, the LEDC awarded a $1,057,000 contract to Portco Inc., of Portsmouth to construct a 42,000 square-foot steel shell building in the industrial park.

To be located at 101 Commerce Drive, the building will front County Road 1 and will set to the left of the main entrance off of that road. The building will be fully insulated, have 26-foot ceilings, two loading docks and parking. The building will help officials market the park, Dingus said.

Portco will start site work any time and is expected to have the building completed 135 days after work begins, he said.