July 28, 2014

Medina
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Some Medina councilors cautious on price of garage addition

MEDINA — The project to expand the city service garage on West Smith Road is moving forward, but a few City Council members say the price has to be right before they approve its construction.

Council voted unanimously Monday night to allow requests for proposals on the project, an expansion that is estimated by architects to cost $875,000.

“We’ve been talking about this garage for years, and I’m excited it’s moving forward. We just want to make sure the ticket price is reasonable,” Ward 3 Councilman Mark Kolesar said.

At-large Councilman John Coyne said he thought the estimate was too high, and he would vote against moving forward if bids came in at the estimated price.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to vote ‘no’ if it’s not what I believe we should be paying for an addition to the garage,” he said Tuesday.

City Engineer Patrick Patton said the project could go out to bid in about a month, once the city finished an outline of what it would like to see built. He said after Council put out requests for qualifications, 14 companies met the city’s standards.

Service Director Nino Piccoli said the expansion would house $7 million worth of city vehicles indoors, including garbage trucks, street sweepers and salt trucks.

A design completed in 2010 by Elyria-based RWL Architects expanded the vehicle maintenance department from 3,100 to 7,000 square feet. Salt storage capacity at the site would increase from 1,600 to 4,000 tons, he said.

“Half of the vehicles are housed outside summer, fall, winter and spring,” Piccoli said. “I know the weather outside takes from the life expectancy of these vehicles.”

The expansion would include a wash bay so vehicles could be cleaned on a regular basis.

“Just like you buy car and pay good dollars for it, you want to keep it nice for as long as you can,” he said.

Kolesar said he understood the assets of the expansion, but the garage could be redesigned with different materials if the cost was too high.

Patton said that if Council does not approve the build phase of the project, it would be “back to the drawing board” for city engineers, who would reconsider the size of the expansion and materials used.
Still, he said he would like to take advantage of the bidding environment and expected bids to come in lower than the estimate.

“The trend here over the past 18 to 24 months with construction was pricing going down,” he said. “We’re now on a cusp where it’s expected to go up because the economy is recovering, so we’re trying to get this awarded soon so we can take advantage of that.”

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@medina-gazette.com.