Above: An artist's rendering of a proposed Delhi swimming pool may have been rendered obsolete by bids on the project, received and rejected last week.
The 12-year effort to build a new community swimming pool in the Delaware County town of Delhi was dealt a setback last week when bids for the project came in well above estimates and available funds.
Two bids were received for the project and were opened at the town council meeting on Monday, June 9. Councilman Al Perkins opened the bids and announced that Patterson-Stevens Inc. of Tonawanda had bid $1,322,000 for the pool, $155,000 for a pool house and $13,000 for a heating system.
MidAtlantic Construction and Design of Trenton, New Jersey offered bids of $1,314,000, $248,640 for the pool house and $10,000 for the heating system.
Both bids are far above the committee's $896,000-to-$900,000 estimate, according to Scott Oles, the chairman of the West Branch Aquatic Center – a committee that was formed as an independent organization and later adopted as a committee of the town.
“Looks like we won't be breaking ground this year,” he said after the meeting. “We've got a ways to go.”
Brian Boyer, a member of the committee, called the bids “a little alarming.”
Oles said that the committee would look at the problem.
“I don't know where we're going to go,” he said. “We have some discussing to do.”
The pool committee met the following night and, at a special meeting on Friday, June 12, the town council rejected both bids.
A large part of the funding for the project is a $200,000 grant from the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Perkins said that the next step is to meet with state officials to seek approval for a scaled-down project, then release a request for proposals to build a pool within the available budget if the officials agree.
“We're doing it this way because it can be done quickly,” he said. “That's Plan B. We have Plans C,D and E if we need them.”
Delhi has been without a community pool since 2003, when the village closed and demolished its pool on Sheldon Drive. The former pool site is now home to an ice skating rink in the winter and volleyball courts are planned for the site for summer use.
The West Branch Aquatic Center committee formed soon after the old pool was demolished. It has worked to raise funds for a new pool on town-owned land adjacent to the American Legion fields in the northeast corner of the village.