Engineering work will be required to complete proposed renovations at Guv Fuller Field, the home of the Falmouth Commodores.
Falmouth Town Meeting authorized $477,815 in Community Preservation Act funding for the work, which included installation of an ADA-compliant lift to the press box, new dugouts with safety netting and aluminum bleachers.
The lift has been installed, but the other elements of the project have not been done. The jobs were put out to bid as individual items, but no contractors responded, Robert Curtis of the Falmouth Commodores told the Community Preservation Committee on Thursday last week, June 13.
“We all decided we would need a professional engineering firm to come in and take control of this project, and represent the town to make sure that the work being done correctly based on the specifics the town provided,” Mr. Curtis said.
The engineering fees would cost about $77,000.
“The 2018 request does not mention engineering money, so the only way to pay that bill is to amend it,” administrative clerk Carole E. Sutherland said.
The community preservation committee approved the amendment.
“I’m surprised the town didn’t require that from the beginning,” committee member Sandra L. Cuny said. “For every project, that is how it is supposed to go on town-owned land.”
Falmouth Recreation Department, applying on behalf of the Commondores, applied for an additional $150,000 to cover the cost of engineering as well as other costs. Ms. Sutherland said approximately half of that request is due to new netting and cost escalation since the initial approval. The other half is due to bidding the entire project at once under a general contractor, rather than as individual elements.
However, this requested amount might increase due to the engineering fees.
“The basis of the application will stay the same, but the number may change,” Ms. Sutherland said.
Representatives from the Falmouth Commodores and Falmouth Recreation Department will meet with the community preservation committee on July 11 for their application interview.
“They will have updates, they will have new information, figures and facts for us,” Ms. Sutherland said.
Ms. Cuny said community preservation funding requests at the November Town Meeting are for urgent projects, and asked if this request met that definition.
“It is time urgent to do the whole project,” Ms. Cuny said. “It is not urgent to do three of the four components.”
However, the Commodores cannot install the safety netting without the dugouts, as the netting is connected to the dugouts.
“It sounds like you can’t do one without the other,” Chairman Russell E. Robbins said. “You need to have the infrastructure there to install the netting.”
Mr. Curtis said the safety netting is the key to the whole project, and cannot be installed without the dugouts. However, there is flexibility with the rest of the project.
“The bleachers are the lowest priority,” he said. “The bleachers are expendable or something that could be delayed.”
The bleachers cost approximately $120,000, and Mr. Curtis said that funding could be re-allocated toward another portion of the project.