The Connellsville Senior Center project is moving forward as the city’s redevelopment authority board awarded the bid for the second part of the project at the authority meeting Monday.

This phase is for the replacement of the heating, venting and air conditioning system at the center.

The overall project is being funded by the city’s Community Development Block Grant funds from 2016 and also includes replacement of the roof, which was approved last month. The board awarded the HVAC project to the lowest responsible bidder, which was Ductz Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing of Connellsville at an amount of $64,613.44. The bid came in below the authority’s estimate and budget for the project.

The acceptance of the bid is pending review and recommendation by the city’s engineer, Widmer Engineering. Widmer will ensure that the company is aware and informed on the types of equipment needed for the job before moving ahead with the project. Widmer also inspects completed work to make certain it adheres to standards.

Other bids were submitted by Nevaeh Pipe Bursting LLC, the company which the authority board approved last month to do the roof replacement part of the project, at an amount of $84,950, Hranec Corp. at $139,000, and McRandal Company, Inc. at $176,700.

Some board members were concerned at the disparity of the bids, but authority assistant Paula Grubach said sometimes that’s the case.

“This isn’t unusual at all,” she stated.

There were also concerns because Ductz has a great reputation for restoration and cleaning services, but little track record on HVAC installation. However, solicitor Tim Witt said that wouldn’t necessary disqualify them as the “lowest responsible bidder,” and the authority is obligated to award the contract to that bidder.

City Clerk Vern Ohler said the city has used Ductz in the past – although not for HVAC installation - and has been happy with their work.

“They’ll be checked out,” said authority Chairman Robert Flockvich. “This is CDBG money and you definitely have to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.”

In addition, the board discussed other projects utilizing CDBG funds from other years, including Francis Avenue sidewalk project (2017) and community center restrooms (2018).

The board agreed to direct Widmer to submit a proposal on the Francis Avenue project and present it at next month’s meeting. The work isn’t slated to begin until November because the project includes the removal of trees, which for environmental reasons needs to be done at that time of year.

The community center restroom project is currently in environmental review and is slated to begin next year.

The authority also discussed the application process for the 2019 CDBG program. Although application costs have one up, the authority expects the city’s allocation to remain approximately $290,000, which means $250,000 can be spent on projects.

A public hearing to discuss possible projects will be held in late summer, and a second hearing once the city identifies which projects the application will request funding for. In addition to the hearing, there will also be an application on the authority’s website, where citizens can suggest a particular project.

The city’s application is due Nov. 1.

In other business, the authority board’s approved payments to the city for the authority’s portion of the code enforcement officer’s salary of $1,996.28; Widmer Engineering for senior citizen center design at amount of $1,000, and Byler’s Roof Coatings for materials for the East Side Fire Station roof replacement at an amount of $18,000. The remaining payment of the balance, $19,435, will be paid upon completion of the job and approval by Widmer.

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