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Massena Rec Commission looking at possible capital projects

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MASSENA — A Massena Joint Recreation Commission subcommittee has formed to consider capital projects in the years ahead, and it expects to have a prioritized list soon.

“We have gotten together a couple of times and tried to generate a list,” board member John J. Horan told Recreation Commission members this week.

The goal is to focus on capital project possibilities over the next five years so they can be accounted for as a separate line item in the commission’s budget.

Mr. Horan said the group has approximately 10 items under consideration. Among them, he said, are repairing the Alcoa Field tennis courts and evaluating the roof and beams at the Massena Arena.

He said it was important to start looking at potential needs and prioritize them so funding would be available when the time comes.

“We have to start to establish a capital project line item, which we had for many years” but which hasn’t been a part of the Recreation Commission’s recent budgets, Mr. Horan said.

“Hopefully as the budget process is now beginning, we have to establish where we want to start moving,” he said.

One item that’s still on the Recreation Commission’s radar is a possible project to replace the lighting at the Massena Arena with more energy-efficient lights. But that project — which had been organized by the Massena Electric Department — may go back out for re-bid.

MED Deputy Superintendent Dale F. Raymo and Treasurer Jeffrey M. Dobbins had presented the plan to recreation officials during their November meeting. MED Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon later presented the information to the village Board of Trustees.

If the project gets under way, it would be worked out between the Massena Recreation Department and a contractor who had responded to a request for proposal from MED.

Mr. Dobbins and Mr. Raymo had suggested in November that recreation officials consider a bid from SmartWatt Energy. Its bid was $51,340, while the highest bid was $171,000 from Dow Electric.

SmartWatt Energy officials said that, based on their evaluation, they could provide the Recreation Commission with an annual energy savings of $4,033, while Dow Electric officials said theirs would be $10,066.

The Recreation Commission would receive MED credit of $20,165 if recreation officials moved forward with the SmartWatt Energy proposal.

A third company, O’Connell Electric, bid $145,639 and said their anticipated annual energy savings was $2,222.

The net cost for the Recreation Commission, after they received a credit from MED, would be $31,175 if they went with SmartWatt Energy, $134,529 if they went with O’Connell Electric and $120,670 if they went with Dow Electric.

Because only three contractors had bid on the project, Mr. McMahon had suggested to the village board this month that re-bidding the project was a possibility.

“If you want to re-bid, I certainly understand your concern about the disparity in the bids,” he said.

Recreation Commission members, meanwhile, said they’ll wait until there’s more concrete information from the town and village boards before making their decision to move forward with the project.

“That is on our list to look at as a project we can try to partake in,” Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said.

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