FAIRFIELD — Penfield Pavilion is closer to being in compliance with federal regulations, after the Board of Selectmen approved more than $580,000 in contracts this week.
Selectmen approved a series of contracts connected to the work at a meeting on Monday.
Bismarck Construction will be the project’s construction manager for $74,000, said Tom Bremer, Fairfield’s chief administrative officer. He said the firm will oversee and orchestrate the different phases of the work, adding the project is in its preliminary stages, so the company will be paid more once the actual rebuilding and repairing process starts.
The board also approved the town entering into a $245,000 contract with Joseph Sepot Architects, which will plan out the work at Penfield. Bremer said the bulk of the work will be done in the coming months.
Another contract approved was an agreement to pay $32,000 to RACE Coastal Engineering for a coastal engineering and flood impact
analysis related to the alterations at Penfield Pavilion. Bremer noted it was only a small study and different than a larger $100,000 study officials approved that will come later.
The larger study was added after residents and elected officials raised concerns at earlier meetings about the work on the building, possibly making flooding in the area worse. As a compromise, the $100,000 was tagged on to the overall project.
The last contract approved was for $227,000 to pay Weston & Sampson, a firm that will handle the remediation. Bremer said the company will help the town file documents for the work and getting proper approval from state and federal regulators.
Bremer said Penfield Pavilion is fully insured against any and all loss, but the town will need to insure it during the actual construction. After that is finished, he said, the building will return to the town’s insurance policy. The lack of insurance was a concern for some officials when the plan to fix the pavilion made its way through various town boards. He said they would not move forward with construction until they had it.
In March, the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting approved a $11.6 million plan to fix issues at the Penfield Pavilion, which was built in a way that violated federal regulations. The bulk of the funding comes from money the town set aside to address fill pile issues, but $1 million of the costs will be covered by the American Rescue Plan Act.
The FEMA violation had put the town’s insurance rating at risk, because if the town did not address the issues by the end of March, FEMA would have notified flood insurance providers of the town’s rating being downgraded. That would have caused about 1,800 residents to lose a 10 percent discount on flood insurance.
The contaminated fill under the building and its parking lot is a separate issue, officials have noted, but one that also needs to be resolved.
Bremer said the second phase of the project would be where the bulk of the costs come from, as it is when the work would start getting done.
“It’s only after all those come in with their quotes that we’ll have an overall sense of what the cost is going to be,” he said.
Bremer said everything is on track though to what was was originally projected.
“Right now, we’re on schedule, as far as I can tell,” he said. “It’s very early as far as it’s the first round of contracts.”
Bremer said the town has two primary objectives with the Penfield project — staying within the $11.5 million budget approved for the work, and minding the 50/50 rule. The latter is a project management guideposts, in which managers assess 50 percent of a project’s value at the start and 50 percent when it’s complete.
Bremer said Bismarck has been informed of officials’ wish to keep these figures in mind going forward. He said the town is on schedule, though most of what is being approved now is related to paperwork and logistics.