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ABCD group rejects bids for infrastructure work at new business park

Plans are that the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation will open the Ardie J. Dillen Industrial Park II sometime this summer, but recent bids by area contractors came in well over budget, causing corporation officials to re-think some ideas for the park, and hopefully, reduce some of the costs.
“”All the bids we received were above our engineering estimates and some additional costs have come into play,” said Patrick Miller, corporation executive vice president, “which added to the cost of the project.”
According to Miller, bids for infrastructure work at the park, which is located south of Del Grosso’s on U.S. Route 220, were put out months ago and these bids were opened in late October. Miller said the lowest bid received was $1,038,000 and the highest was about $1.6 million.
“We thought it was in our best interest to go ahead and reject all the bids, modify the site plan, try to reduce the costs slighting and put the project back out to bid,” said Miller. “Basically, we just moved a few things here and a few things there. We also want to use some different materials that may reduce the costs a little.”
Miller also said that because of the Halloween fire at New Pig Corp., the corporation decided to re-locate a number of fire hydrants that were already placed in the original design plans.
“There’s nothing really major that we’re doing or moving,” said Miller. “A few modifications could save a few dollars and get the estimate in closer to our preliminary estimate.”
Miller said the request for bids has already been made and the corporation will open the new bid on Jan. 13. He is hopeful that after the bid openings, the corporation will be in a position to award the contract 30 days later.
“Then, we’ll give that contractor, whoever it may be, notice to proceed with the project,” said Miller. “The bid calls for the project to be completed in 180 days after the contract is awarded, hopefully, by next summer.”
According to Miller, interest has already been expressed in the park by a distribution company, which would be a big boost to the local economy in the area.
“We have one company that has provided us a letter of intent that, once ready for occupancy, wants to negotiate locating their facility there and expanding.”
The business park rests on 41 and Antis Township supervisors have already approved a subdivision that will separate the area into seven lots with a 3-acre tract being the smallest and an 18 1/2-acre parcel being the largest.