Riverlink Park bids rejected as too high

Amsterdam’s Common Council on Tuesday rejected bids for the second phase of the Riverlink Park proje

Amsterdam’s Common Council on Tuesday rejected bids for the second phase of the Riverlink Park project and plans to pare the proposal down or break it into pieces to meet available funding.

The city is looking to transform the grassy portion of land west of the current Riverlink Park into another park with playground equipment, landscaping, a band shell, a walkway and benches. The extended park is expected to dovetail into a landing for the new pedestrian walkway bridge linking the South Side to the downtown Main Street section on north side of the Mohawk River.

Fourth Ward Alderman William Wills said he hadn’t seen details on the earlier bid specifications, and he said he wants the council to review them before the project is put out to bid again. He said it’s his understanding the project was to cost about $500,000 but bids came in around $800,000.

Fifth Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero said, “What we’re saying now is we’ve got to scale this down.”

Corporation Counsel Gerry DeCusatis said the city will likely cut some items from the scope of the project or bid them as individual components, so that the project can move forward. Wills said he was displeased with the fact that an expensive decorative stone wall was added to the project.

“Who made all these decisions?” he asked.

In unrelated business Tuesday, the Common Council again discussed a proposal to bond for purchase of equipment such as a new plow truck for the Public Works Department, office equipment and demolition expenses. At issue are about 20 homes that need to be torn down, but the council focused on the Brookside Avenue property that burned to the ground this summer.

First Ward Alderman Joseph Isabel said he wouldn’t support borrowing money to demolish homes until he gets specific costs on the Brookside Avenue building and the others.

The Brookside Avenue factory building was sold at the city’s public auction, but the council gave the bidders time to evaluate their ability to remediate the site. Council members said it appears that won’t happen, so it’s likely the city will own that property again.

Erwin Harnish from the city Engineering Department said it’s nearly impossible to develop specific costs for the demolition of the Brookside Avenue building — it was filled with books and much of the material will have to be delivered to a special landfill because it’s contaminated with asbestos.

The council again tabled the resolution to borrow money and decided to talk about it again at a future meeting.

Categories: Schenectady County

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