Edgartown selectmen accept $7.3 million bid for new library

Site of the new Edgartown Public Library.
File photo by Michelle Gross

Site of the new Edgartown Public Library.

Edgartown selectmen voted Monday to accept a $7.3 million bid from Maron Construction of Providence, Rhode Island, for the construction of the new Edgartown library.

Project manager Richard Pomroy of Pomroy and Associates told selectmen his office received three other bids ranging from a low of $7.4 million to a high of $8.2.

“We have vetted the contractor and have found that they are acceptable for the construction,” Mr. Pomroy said. “The bid is a good bid, and we feel Maron is suitable for this project.”

Mr. Pomroy told selectmen that Maron Construction specializes in government projects and has completed smaller projects with the Coast Guard both on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

In addition to the main bid, Maron offered four upgrade options. These included an upgrade from carpeting to hardwood flooring on the first floor, high acoustical ceiling panels in the community room and student craft area, a radiant floor heating system throughout the building, and an upgrade to the landscaping plan.

“The [building] committee has met and has reviewed these and would like to include alternates one and two,” Mr. Pomroy told selectmen. “The committee feels very strongly, and I do too, that alternates one and two are very important to the quality of the building.”

The two options would add a total of $114,000 to the project, Mr. Pomroy said.

“We’re at the stage right now where you could approve a general contractor, approve alternate number one, approve alternate number two, and still be within budget,” Mr. Pomroy said.

Selectmen did not take action on the options Monday. They have 90 days to make that decision.

The vote to approve the bid was conditioned on approval by the town’s procurement officer, Jen O’Hanlon.

“I would expect that we will see some activity on site by mid- to late February,” Mr. Pomroy wrote in an email to The Times Tuesday. “We will have much more detailed information once we start working with the contractor on a regular basis.”

Budgeted at just over $10.2 million, the Edgartown Library will receive $5 million in state grant funds. Edgartown voters have agreed to a $4.9 million municipal bond issue. The difference between the total budget and the general contract is consumed by asbestos remediation and oversight, and building demolition at the old Edgartown School site, plus furniture and equipment, architectural and third party consultant fees, project management and oversight fees, as well as material testing, printing and other miscellaneous items, Mr. Pomroy said.

Money talks

Monday, Chris Scott, vice chairman of the Edgartown Library building committee, suggested that it is time to tap into money the Edgartown Library Foundation (ELF) raised for the project but had so far failed to disburse.

Selectmen and the town’s library building committee have clashed repeatedly with the library foundation over funds the town believed the foundation had raised in support of the new library but had not forwarded to the town. In earlier comments, ELF members had expressed concern that the library project would cost more than anticipated and refused to relinquish funds for the project until all the funding was in place.

Monday, Mr. Scott said he was ready to see the money generated by ELF put into place.

“The consensus of the committee is that the fundraising has happened,” Mr. Scott said. “The Edgartown Library Foundation is holding $450,000 that was donated by the public for the Edgartown Library.”

Mr. Scott added, “The money is there; it’s just a question of getting transferred into the construction account.”

Library trustee Deanna Ahearn-Laird asked selectmen if they had consulted with town counsel regarding the disbursement of the funds. “It’s not entirely up to ELF to decide when they want to turn the funds over,” Ms. Ahearn-Laird asked.

Town administrator Pamela Dolby said town counsel Ronald Rappaport had been in touch with the state Attorney General’s office regarding the disbursement of funds but did not elaborate further.

Selectmen Michael Donaroma also suggested the possibility of using money left over from the Warren House sale for library construction.

“The proceeds from the Warren House are separate from the library project,” town accountant Kimberly Kane told selectmen. According to Massachusetts General Law, such money can only be applied to costs related to the sale of the Warren House, not to unrelated projects.