Lancaster town officials approved nearly $92,000 in unexpected change orders for electrical and plumbing-related work for the newly-opened Lancaster-Depew Indoor Baseball Facility in Westwood Park.
The Town Board’s action triggered a peppering of questions from a few residents about what led to the additional work and how its cost would be covered for the $1.53 million facility that opened earlier this month.
The work totals $77,284 in additional electrical needs, and another $14,694 in plumbing-related tasks. The electrical contractor is Weydmen Electric, whose total contract now totals $266,684 including the new change order; while Ackerman Plumbing’s total contract is now $62,018, including the $14,694 change order.
The additional expenses will not be paid out of the town’s general fund, Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli assured residents. Instead, the extra expenses will be covered through the town’s recreation filing fee account.
Fudoli acknowledged that the cost of the overall project has risen. “It is a little higher than anticipated, but is coming out of the recreation filing fund,” he said.
Town Engineer Robert Harris said the contractors for electrical and plumbing work were responsible for tending to additional town responsibilities with utilities on the exterior of the baseball facility that ended up connecting to the facility. The town will handle the cost and not wrap those late expenses into the bond on the project.
The baseball complex, totaling about 16,200 square feet, will be owned by the town, which borrowed about $1.7 million to construct it. The Lancaster-Depew Baseball League will operate it and pay back the town by tapping into sponsorship deals, concession revenues, usage fees and fundraising.
The town’s recreation filing fee account, which is partly funded by residents building homes in town and tied to parks and recreation use, also is covering “soft costs” such as legal, engineering, architectural and professional service fees that were not rolled into the bond. Those costs were initially estimated to run about $100,000.
A few questioned whether there was adequate parking for the facility, and town officials indicated there are about 75 available spots, which they said should be enough.
In another matter, the board also approved purchasing five 2014 Dodge Charger police vehicles for a total cost of $95,983, after the trade-in allowances on three 2013 Dodge Chargers and one 2011 Ford Crown Victoria.
Police Chief Gerald Gill Jr. defended the purchases under questioning from some residents about the necessity of buying five new vehicles.
The ongoing dog kennel issue also generated a question. Fudoli said town and county officials met recently to talk about whether the county may still have interest in buying the town dog kennel property on Walden Avenue for sewer authority operations.
“There is possible interest, yet, in the land,” Fudoli said. “We could use the proceeds to build a kennel on Pavement Road or contract with Clarence (for kenneling). To decide now, would be premature. At this point, it’s still on the table.”