The Airport Commission hopes to get the administrative building project underway by the end of the month.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Airport Commission will award the administrative building project to a Northampton firm after state forms are finalized.
Peter Enzien of Stantec Consulting Services, the airport's engineer, told the commission Tuesday that once the signed standard contract form is sent back to the state Department of Transportation, the city can award the project to low bidder DA Sullivan & Sons, which bid $3.6 million.
"They will be turned back into MassDOT. We will overnight that which then will allow us to officially award the project," Enzien said. "Once that happens, they will get in contact with all of their subcontractors, we will have a pre-construction meeting and, hopefully, we are breaking ground by the last week in October."
The city plans to move the vacant medical building on the north side of the Harriman & West Airport campus and use it as a new administrative building. The 8,700-square-foot facility was constructed in 2001 on leased airport land and was donated to the city by Berkshire Health Systems.
The only other bidder was Burke Construction of Adams at $3.8 million.
In other business, at a recent MassDOT Capital Improvement Project meeting, the state offered to put funds toward mowing equipment to help maintain the perimeter of the airport.
"We didn't want to be greedy. Certainly, they were already giving us money for the building, but they came out last winter and cut all these trees and if we don't get back in there and maintain it we will see them regrow," Enzien said. "They were nearly begging us to move forward with that."
Enzien said the state will fund 90 percent of the equipment that is slated to cost between $110,000 and $130,000.
The city's Administrative Officer Michael Canales said the city has the funds from a previous borrowing to cover this cost.
Enzien said they also discussed an upcoming airport improvement project and environmental permitting will be funded in 2019 for a 2020 perimeter fence installation.
"The fence only goes a third of the way around the airport now and the goal is to go all of the ways around," he said. "It will go a long way of keeping wildlife out, not eliminating it, but definitely slowing it down in addition to better security."
Before closing, City Councilor Jason LaForest said West End residents have complained of a fuel odor over the past few months.
"They claim it happens with some frequency and I have been spending time in Greylock for some 42 years I have only smelled it once," he said. "It was a sickening smell. We were gagging in the house. I can't say if it was from the airport or from Route 2 or maybe a diesel engine that was idling but I have had a half a dozen neighbors complain to me about it."
The commission said it would investigate the odor and recommended that residents call the Fire Department if they smell the odor again.
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