FORT EDWARD — The Shushan bridge replacement project took a step forward Friday when the Washington County Board of Supervisors accepted a construction bid of $2,254,863 from Winn Construction of Waterford.
The only other bidder was DA Collins of Wilton, which bid $3,148,681.
The bridge carries county Route 61 over the Batten Kill between the towns of Salem and Jackson. It was installed in 1962 to replace a covered bridge, now a museum below the new bridge. Work will include replacement of the steel multi-girder and open grate superstructure with a new steel multi-girder and composite concrete deck, repairs and retrofits to the substructure, associated work on the approach roads, and guiderail replacement. The contract ends Dec. 23.
Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff was the lone “no” vote on the contract. He objected to taking some land for the project by eminent domain.
- As of Friday morning, Washington County had 41 active cases of COVID-19. Three people were hospitalized, according to Tim Hardy, deputy director of public safety. The county’s positivity rate is 2.46% and new cases are still being reported, Hardy said. He urged people who receive positive tests to inform Washington County Public Health. The county has home test kits and hand sanitizer available.
- The board approved adding a $1 million Epidemiology & Laboratory COVID-19 Enhanced Detection award to the county’s Public Health budget for 2022. The board also approved adding $112,240 in federal Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to the Department of Social Service’s budget. The PEAF grant will cover diaper allowances and multi-generational food payments on recipients’ electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.
- The board added eight Public Health Corps Fellowship positions to the county’s payment grade schedule. The positions are funded by the New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program to promote more Public Health staff. The program will provide up to six fellows, one graduate fellow, and one local coordinator. All will work 35 hours a week. The program is for two years, ending on July 31, 2023, and covers salary, benefits, office equipment and computers.
- The board raised the county’s 2022 tourism budget to $200,000, the same as in 2021 but $107,500 more than the amount approved for the 2022 budget. The county received $48,207 in I Love New York funds and will make up the rest by taking $59,293 from the fund balance. According to the accompanying budget impact statement, this will achieve the county tourism program’s baseline budget and allow Black Dog Design, which provides marketing and promotion services to the county, to begin planning for this year’s travel season. The board extended Black Dog’s contract with the county for another three years, expiring Dec. 24, 2024. The board waived the procurement policy for the contract extension because Black Dog has provided good service.
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Falls Dodge Inc., of Niagara Falls, submitted the only bid to sell the county four Dodge Durango PPV AWD, a police pursuit vehicle, for $42,401 each, or $169,604 total. The board rejected a bid of $52,979 from Chevrolet Smithtown, of St. James, for one Chevrolet Tahoe SSV. The Public Works Committee and Superintendent of Public Works Deborah Donohue recommended buying a Dodge Durango for less.
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