Low bid for infrastructure work at industrial park

The Pine Grove Mills firm Stone Valley Construction submitted the lowest of nine bids for infrastructure work at the Ardie J. Dillen Industrial Park II, announced Marty Marasco, president of the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation.
Pending engineer approval, the $984,833.77 bid will be awarded to the firm, which will place the water, sewage, natural gas and electric lines in the 40-acre site located along Old Route 220 across from Parkview Estates in Antis Township. The contract will also contain language concerning installation of storm sewers, water detention ponds and an access road.
“If the engineers say everything is OK, we’ll be ready to get this thing started,” said Marasco. “We’d hope to begin the construction in the next 30 to 60 days and have the entire project completed by June or July.”
The Altoona company Gwin, Dobson & Foreman Inc. will review the bids before a contract is awarded.
According to Marasco, the opening of the bids Monday was the second round of proposals for the project. In October, ABCD opened numerous bids from area contractors for the work, but all bids came in well over budget – the least being $1,038,000 and the highest being about $1.6 million.
“We thought it was in our best interest to go ahead and reject all bids, modify the site plan, try to reduce the costs slightly and put the project out to bid,” said Patrick Miller, ABCD executive vice president. “Basically, we moved a few things here and a few things there.”
These moves included fire hydrants in the park after the devastating Halloween fire that caused millions of dollars in damages at the New Pig Corp. at the nearby Ardie J. Dillen Industrial Park. ABCD officials believe more strategic placement of the hydrants could possibly prevent incidents such as the one at New Pig.
The site is marked as a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which allows incoming companies tax-free status from local and school district taxes.
The business park rests on 41 acres 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.
According to Marasco, 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 interest that, once ready for occupancy, wants to negotiate locating their facility there and expanding.”