Fox Run road bid exceeds available cash

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The potential paving of Fox Run subdivision hit a speed bump Friday, when the sole bid submitted exceeded the amount of money available to spend.

Fox Run’s special improvement district board chose not to accept the $239,670 bid submitted by Cornell Fertilizer Inc. of Dillon. The board was authorized to spend up to $200,000 total, of which roughly $198,000 is available.

“Well, we don’t have access to $239,000 at this point,” Board Chairman Fred Chouinard said. “At this point, I would say we cannot accept that bid.”

Fox Run residents created the special district last year, installing a board to pave roads for the maximum $200,000 price tag. Since then, the board’s monthly meetings focused on what specifications are needed to accomplish the paving, and then put the proposal out for bid.

The district’s creation was a result of years of back-and-forth between residents on opposite sides of the issue. The original $200,000 estimate was derived from a previous unofficial bid proposal presented by Cornell ($165,000), which was several years ago. That may be part of the reason why the bid was higher than expected, alongside residents’ efforts to ensure the roads matched county road specifications and would not disintegrate into homeowners’ wells.

“The specifications we put in were pretty substantial, to protect everybody,” Chouinard added.

The board has four years to start the project or the district dissolves.

“That would be something to think about between now and the next meeting,” he said. “We have four years to do this. We’re not dead in the water. But this is certainly a kick in the mouth.”

Fox Run resident Clint Rouse urged the board to continue to look at the project, since a majority of residents wanted to see paved roads.

“I don’t think we want to give up on this project,” he said. “It’s just such a huge improvement and had such a huge majority of people that wanted to have this done, that we can’t give up on it.”

The board could put the issue back on the ballot for voters to raise the maximum dollar amount for the project. Those elections are generally held in May, so the soonest it would be up for a vote would be next year.

Rouse added there were two contractors that attended a prebid walkthrough of the project, and he hoped the board would talk with both of them as to why the estimated cost was higher than they anticipated, and why the other one did not bid at all.

Chouinard and board member John Madany agreed to do so. The board’s next meeting is set for May 12.