Selectmen OK $7M golf clubhouse bond
FAIRFIELD — The H. Smith Richardson Golf Clubhouse Committee passed one of the hurdles toward a fully approved bonding resolution destined to construct a new building, though its original proposal didn’t come out unscathed.
The Clubhouse Committee’s original proposal asked for a $7.3 million bonding resolution for the construction project, but the critique from the Board of Selectmen at the Jan. 2 meeting was the same that other town bodies had at previous presentations: the price was just too high.
“I like the building design,” Selectman Chris Tymniak said. “It started out in the high $8 million range, but the actual construction of the building is around $5.6 million ... it’s a municipal golf course and we have spent a lot of money investing in the course.”
According to previous committee presentations, the initial cost estimate of the project was $7.1 million, but a schematic design estimate drove that up to $8.9 million. After several value-engineering sessions, the cost estimate was brought down to $7.6 million and eventually to $7.3 million.
Selectman Edward Bateson proposed a change to lower the bonding resolution, essentially transferring a $280,000 line item in the resolution regarding site work and paving toward the Department of Public Works’ annual operating budget.
“You guys have done a great job discussing possible savings in other places,” Bateson said. “One number that was stuck in my head was $280,000 for site work and paving. I think that’s something that the town can do, and very well, in-house ... as an effort to minimize what we’re bonding.”
Director of Public Works Joe Michelangelo said that asphalt paving and curbing could be overseen by the department by hiring contractors.
“We can do this project with minimal man hours oversight,” Michelangelo said. “We would require $280,000 more (in our annual budget.)”
First Selectman Mike Tetreau did, however, note that the shifted item could impact the mill rate as it would be added into the department’s annual budget.
Craig Curley, chairman of the Clubhouse Committee, warned the board that the money allotted for site work and paving was important for the project.
“We need to know where the money will reside,” Curley said. “If the $280,000 leaves the project budget and then is subject to the annual operating budget risk and approval risk, I’d hate to have this project move forward and not have the money available to complete the parking lot at the time.”
Ryan Scully, the chairman of the golf commission, spoke in favor of the project resolution.
“We’re well aware of the need for this clubhouse project and the committee has done a good job,” Scully said.
Bateson and Tymniak voted in favor of the proposed amendment; Tetreau voted in opposition. When the amended bonding resolution was proposed to a vote, however, the board approved it unanimously.
The amended bonding resolution will now go to the Board of Finance for their decision at their Jan. 8 meeting. The Representative Town Meeting will issue its verdict at their Jan. 21 and Jan. 28 meeting.
To read the original proposal, visit: https://www.fairfieldct.org/bos/agendas and click on HSRBC Funding Request under 2019 Packets for Jan. 2, 2019.