Watertown awards contract for street and park projects

By Matt Bunke, Community Editor

The Watertown City Council on July 24 formally awarded the contract for its upcoming 2012 Streets and Parks Improvement Projects to Latour Construction.

Latour’s bid of just over $1.68 million was the lowest of the nine bids that the city received. That figure represents only construction costs associated with the project. Engineering costs, legal fees and financing expenses will add to the total cost of the project, which is expected to be around $2.5 million.

This year’s project includes reconstruction of the final streets left in the city that have not yet been updated to meet the city’s current standards, as well as the construction of two streets – known as Streets A and B – in the new Community Park site. The construction of those park streets, as well as the extension of utilities into the site, needs to be completed this year to fulfill the city’s obligation as part of the original donation agreement with the Berg family, which donated the land to the city for the park.

Other streets to be reconstructed in Watertown this year include portions of Hutchinson Road, Madison Street, Hunter Drive, Sugarbush Trail, Dutchmans Way and Jackson Avenue. The city council is still planning to discuss the Hutchinson Road reconstruction and whether to widen the road and add curb and gutter. Those improvements would cost about $72,000, but were already factored into Latour’s $1.68 million bid.

The cost for those particular improvements, should they be included in the final plans, would likely be covered by the city. The bulk of the street improvements will be paid for by assessments to impacted homeowners, with the homeowners likely covering 80 percent of the costs and the city covering 20 percent, as with past projects. However, project financing will be brought to the council at its Aug. 14 meeting.

Latour Construction has done limited, if any work, in the city of Watertown in the past. However, city engineer Dave Martini of Bolton and Menk said his company has worked with Latour in the past on other projects and told the council he had no reason not to recommend awarding the company the contract.

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