Saturday, January 22, 2011

Riverwalk News Release Notes Revised

Below is the document I wanted all of you to read.  It was sent to me back in April 2009 by Brent Sweet former trustee. The title of this topic is also the name of the file that Brent sent.  Also, in the first line below is the phrase Brent and I.  The "I" is not a reference to me, but I suppose it is a reference to former trustee, the late Cindy Chaltain. These were all the FACTS that were supposed to be shared with the media and the public

These are notes from Jane Rice at EDR who wrote the grant – this was taken from the notes that Brent and I had discussed

1. The Village of Alexandria Bay was informed by a representative of NYSDOT that it has been awarded $$ for the proposed Riverwalk Project. The Village Board (like other communities) was given approximately 24 hours in which to decide which program to follow: the stimilus program or the conventional TEP program.

2. The Village Board after serious deliberation decided to follow the TEP program for the following reasons:
    a. The stimulus program mandates that 100% of the project must be completed within three years from February 2009 AND if it isn't the Village will have to pay back the entire amount of $$. Due to the many nuances invovled with this project, such as land easements, breakwalls, short construction season etc. the challenge of actually completing this project is three construction seasons is extremely risky.
    b. The TEP program is the same program that has been functioning for many years. The time constraints are more practical and we are familiar with the agency representatives.
    c. The Village is confident that it can meet the 20% match through a combination of value of land easements, material donations, local village labor and equipment costs.

3. The Village Board's intentions were to wait until reciept of a written award letter and then to hold a press release. To date the Village Board is still waiting for the award letter to confirm the telephone notice it recieved in March. We will inform the community of the details as soon as we recieve the official award letter. In the meantime, the Village Board will be seeking community volunteers to participate on the Riverwalk Project Committee.

These were our thoughts from Brent with input from Cindy --
not enough time- needed to be completed by 2/17/12
the village needs to get right of ways and easements from
  • River Hospital board of directors, that means surveys, deeds drawn up and approvals by lawyers and boards
  • Historical society for riverwalk plus same as above
  • Ron & Rick Thomson and Mrs. T Thomson Estate plus same as above, estate could slow process down dramatically
  • the village needs to get RFP (requests for proposals)
  • Part of required process to prepare to put project out for bid
  • To put out for bid we need to have all engineering and architecture specs done and approved-very time consuming
  • chances of having all this done by summer are pretty slim

Suppose bids come in to high and we need more $$$ and we have to revise and put out to bid again, happened with pavilion project, or suppose we have faulty workmanship as we did with concrete floor at pavilion and we have to tear out and completely redo
Suppose contactors are busy with other stimulus/ state projects and prices are high above $$$ estimates done at time of grant submission(about 9 months ago) or bidders are few because of the surge in projects due to other stimulus/state/Fort Drum projects.
how long of a working season do we have in abay for this kind of outside work, 6 months or so per year not including how much can be done this season. Yes contractors can work year round but ask them what the costs go to for those winter months and then the costs/$$$ comes into play

Remember if project isn’t 100 percent completed by 2/17/2012 we (taxpayers of the village) must pay back all the $$$$
We talked to EDR and they have other communities that turned down fed stimulus $$$ for similar reasons and they recommended we do the same after very thorough analysis of our project

No one spent any time looking into federal grant because we applied for this grant for the 3rd or 4th time in 5-8 years. Remember federal stimulus $$$ were not available till a month or so ago so no time looking into federal grant
The fed automatically put our state application into the fed pool, we didn’t even know about it till we got the call the day of the special meeting that they wanted an answer from us by 5 pm that day
we were told at 10 am we had to make the decision between the fed grant $$$ or state grant $$$ by 5 pm--- not much room for negotiation there
  • Our conference calls and e-mails from the state DOT says if we choose the state TEP $$$ we have them and 5 years and extensions as we got with the pavilion $$$ which we got 2 or 3 extensions for which is now complete with state grant $$$$ and matching funds of 20 percent which was the donation of the scuba park lands from the Thomsons etc. + or -
We wanted to wait for some official confirmation in writing or any type of award letter and our grant writer EDR had two other communities in the exact same situation that had declined the fed $$$$
we called the state people and asked for something in writing ASAP and we are still waiting: they are busy and we have to work with these people for five plus years on this project,
when these awards happen usually there is a public announcement with the local senator, assemblywoman and assemblymen involved for the community receiving the awarded $$$$, they have helped us with the applications over the years and with the whole process. They need to be included/involved and nothing is official yet.

For further clarity, the village must come up with 20 percent of the total $1.13 million or about $226,780

The villages 20 percent would come from at least 3 or 4 different sources as did the pavilion grant 20 percent

Those villages matching sources would be;

  1. the agreed/ approved/appraised value of the land and lands underwater in front of the River Hospital that the hospital would have to deed over to the village for the riverwalk to be on; estimated value - ???? substantial $$$$

  1. the agreed/approved/appraised value of the land owned by the historical society that the riverwalk covers as it comes off the front of the hospital and turns and goes by the Historical Cornwall bldg and down in front of the old chamber bldg making its way to James street through the alley between Imdads and the Thomson museum. – substantial $$$$

  1. the agreed/approved/appraised value of the roughly (25) 8ft x 50 ft concrete pre-stressed T’s (concrete surface where motel was torn down) that the Thomsons have donated for matching $$$ which would be the base for the riverwalk in front of the hospital and other areas along the waterfront. Again substantial $$$$. The interlocking stone pavers go on top of concrete to create the walking surface for the riverwalk

  1. also the village is allowed to submit all payroll costs(employee and employer) and equipment rental costs for matching $$$ that they use in helping throughout the project which was substantial $$$ for the pavilion project

This is the text from Doug Burgy’s e-mail from the Albany office of the NYSDOT explaining about the Federal Stimulus money.

As we discussed, there will be an accelerated time line to completion
for TEP projects funded with monies from the stimulus [American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)] set-aside. Such projects must generate
bills within 12 months of funds availability (March 3rd) and complete
within three years. These are drop-dead dates, because the feds will
take away unobligated balances after one year and obligated but
unexpended balances after three years and re-distribute them to other
states. In other words, in exchange for receiving 100% project funding
with stimulus funds in lieu of getting only 80% under TEP, you will have
to accept some risks.

Because the schedule for stimulus projects is still accelerated, you
will have to get going immediately after the announcement of these
projects to get work with Region 17 to get an agreement in process. You
will also have to consult with the Region about the requirements for
consultant selection, if you will be using one. Moreover, there will be
a strict accounting of job creation on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and
annual basis. This will be over and above standard EEO/DBE reporting

If you say "yes" to going with stimulus funds, and if the Village is
selected for such funding--since we will have more candidates than
available funds in the TEP set-aside not all communities who want
stimulus money will get it--you will not be able to fall back on TEP,
because all TEP funds freed up by transferring projects to the stimulus
program will be programmed for unfunded projects on our statewide list
for the current TEP funding round. You have to choose upfront whether
you want to go stimulus or TEP, and then you will receive a letter from
(I believe) the Commissioner of NYSDOT indicating that you either have
been awarded stimulus or TEP funds. At that point, for all intents and
purposes, you will be locked in to that particular fund source and its
program-specific rules and regulations.

I hope this explanation helps. Please respond ASAP, i.e., by tomorrow
morning at the latest, about whether you want to go with the stimulus
funds. Thanks.