Dam repair costs increase

Project estimates reach $3.5 million

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

Owned by

‘I think we’re down to two options — fix it or sell it.’

- William Spears, Jr., Enosburg Falls Village Trustee

ENOSBURG FALLS — The village board of trustees learned at its Tuesday evening meeting that the village’s hydro renovation project will cost approximately $2 million more than expected.

Trustees approved the next phase of that project during the board meeting, after an in-depth discussion of options amid expressions of consternation.

The board had hoped for the opposite outcome from the project’s first phase, in which engineers thoroughly inspected the condition of the hydro dam’s turbines to determine exactly what renovations are necessary.

The ideal outcome for the board would have been cost savings. When the renovation project was initially put out to bid in the summer of 2016, even the lowest bid was significantly higher than the project’s estimated cost, let alone the village’s budget.

The board of trustees enlisted the village’s consulting firm on the project, the H. L. Turner Group, to negotiate a reduced cost with the low-bidder, Kingsbury, since the village had based its budget on the Turner Group’s projections.

But when Kingsbury and the Turner Group appeared before the board in September, the companies instead presented a new, phased approach to the project. No company will negotiate the project’s scope of work, their representatives said, because “there’s just too many unknowns.”

For the full story, pick up a copy of the Thursday Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.