Stark County Park District’s Board of Commissioners on Wednesday hired MS Consultants of Youngstown for $90,000 and Black Horse Bridge Construction of Norton for $991,130 for the proposed Aqueduct Bridge over the Tuscarawas River.
Stark County Park District Board of Commissioners
KEY ACTION Hired MS Consultants of Youngstown for $90,000 and Black Horse Bridge Construction of Norton for $991,130 for the proposed Aqueduct Bridge over the Tuscarawas River. MS Consultants will serve as the project engineer and Black Horse is the contractor that will build the 260-foot-long bridge south of Shepler Church that will close one of Stark County’s two remaining gaps along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
DISCUSSION Stark Parks Director Robert Fonte said the construction cost came in higher than the engineer’s estimate of $900,000, but Black Horse was the only company to submit a bid. He said other companies that had expressed interest in the project had been concerned about the requirement that they be able to move their equipment from the work site within six hours’ notice due to the possibility of flooding.
Fonte said he, along with members from Tuscarawas County and the Ohio Department of Transportation, agreed to move forward with the project because the bid was within 10 percent of the engineer’s estimate, which is allowable under law, and because seeking new prices would force the project to be completed over two construction seasons, likely increasing construction costs.
Stark Parks and Tuscarawas County commissioners each will contribute $78,000 to the project with state and federal grants covering the remainder. Fonte said the project likely will begin in roughly 30 days and construction is expected to take six months.
• Held a closed-door session to discuss Fonte’s compensation. The Stark County Prosecutor’s Office notified the board in April that it could not pay Fonte the full 23 weeks of unused vacation, worth $45,016, that he had banked and sought to cash in when he retired Feb. 28 and returned to his position March 1. The prosecutor’s office said Fonte was eligible to receive only 16 weeks of vacation, worth $31,361. No action was taken after the executive session, and Fonte later confirmed that the board chose not to reimburse him for the lost vacation pay.
• Hired Enviroscapes of Nimishillen Township for $44,822 to mow the grass, prune and clean up leaves at Petros Lake, Fry Family and Molly Stark parks. Fonte said the move is cheaper than hiring additional staff. He said the district will evaluate the costs and benefits of the hiring at the end of the season.
UP NEXT Meets at 6:30 p.m. June 5 at Canal Fulton City Hall at 155 E. Market St.