Cost of beach pavilion goes up as grant money goes away
FAIRFIELD — A wave of state regulations washed out an existing bulkhead, and a $500,000 state grant that would have offset the cost of rebuilding Penfield Pavilion.
And it was during a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection review of the Penfield Building Committee plans for that grant that the state agency said a bulkhead installed in front of the pavilion after Tropical Storm Irene was not properly permitted.
Town officials said the state’s tone, from initially recommending the bulkhead be removed, changed to talk of a notice of violation. That, Tetreau said, could have jeopardized the project’s 75 percent Federal Emergency Management Agency’s reimbursement of the $7.4 million project. The FEMA reimbursement requires that all the proper permits be secured, and a decision was made by the administration to remove a portion of the bulkhead.
As for not going for the CDBG money, Tetreau said they were not informed of the requirement that the building be raised under foot until earlier this year, after the design had been approved, the project put out to bid, and funding approved by all town boards.
A conceptual estimate for elevating the pavilion another foot came in at $361,053, but did not include the cost of changes to the parking lot that would then be required.
“We’d have to go back through all the boards,” Terreau said, and rebid the project, losing construction time. “It got very complicated, very fast, by taking that grant.”
The Penfield Building Committee voted unanimously to not raise the building’s elevation.
This will increase the town’s share of the project from about $1.5 million to $2 million, which Tetreau said will be bonded and spread over 20 years. Rental fees from the completed pavilion will also offset the increased town share.
While some committee member expressed concern that the bulkhead was removed without their knowledge or approval, Chairman Jim Bradley has said the bulkhead was not part of the project.
Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo said attempts to reach a compromise with DEEP were not successful. He said the bulkhead was designed by a civil engineer in the DPW. “There’s nothing wrong with the structural design,” Michelangelo said. “This is a flood control structure and should have had a Coastal Area Management application.” But even if the CAM application had been submitted, he said, DEEP officials indicated it was unlikely they would have recommended it.
Current building plans included a revetment wall, and Michelangelo said there is already fill on either side of bulkhead basically performing the same purpose as the bulkhead. In addition, some additional braces will be included on the building’s foundation to make up for the bulkhead loss.