The North Hempstead Town Board voted Monday to start a $23 million renovation of New Hyde Park’s swimming pool this summer after a year of planning.
The 7-0 vote accepted a $19.4 million bid from Wantagh-based Gramercy Group to overhaul the Clinton G. Martin Park pool. The bid was one of two the town received after initially estimating the project would cost about $14.1 million.
Wyandanch-based Philip Ross Industries submitted a lower bid at $19,035,000, but has less experience with large projects and did not offer as many assurances that the renovation would be done on time, town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said.
“This Town Board will make sure we watch every step to make sure that that timeline is kept, and we will do whatever we have to do to make sure it’s kept,” town Councilman Angelo Ferrara (R-New Hyde Park) said.
Residents have been divided on whether to accept the more expensive project and a bigger property tax increase, or solicit more bids to possibly get a cheaper price.
But the majority at Monday’s Town Board meeting urged officials to move forward now to ensure the pool would only be closed for one summer season.
“I just feel if we go any longer than the one season that we’re proposed now, we’re going to miss out on memories and people will start looking elsewhere” said Rob Spina, a resident, who presented a petition with 212 signatures supporting the project.
The renovation, expected to start in June and finish within a year, will resurface the 75,000-square-foot pool deck, expand the kiddie pool, renovate locker rooms, resurface the park’s tennis courts, overhaul the 55-year-old pool’s aging infrastructure, and add a water slide, spray features and shading structures.
Median property taxes for residents of the Clinton G. Martin Park District, which operates the pool, will rise to about $140 from about $40 to fund the borrowing for the project, town officials have said.
The park district includes North New Hyde Park, the Village of New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, Herricks and Searingtown.
The Town Board’s vote came about three weeks after officials learned the first estimates by J.R. Holzmacher Engineering were far below the actual project cost.
A few residents on Monday maintained that it would be wiser to find out why the estimates were wrong and seek more bids to ensure the job is done right.
“The work has to get done, but I want it done with the right numbers, gotten in the right way, with the right people,” Mike Currie, a Lakeville Estates Civic Association board member, said.
But town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said there was no guarantee that new bids would be any cheaper, though seeking them would delay the project and close the pool for at least two summer seasons.
The pool would have to close this summer anyway because parts of its infrastructure would not pass a Nassau County health inspection, said Paul DeMaria, the town’s public works commissioner.
The Town Board also awarded a $480,000 contract to the Syosset-based LiRo Group to manage the construction schedule and budget. J.R. Holzmacher will oversee plan approvals and equipment purchases under its existing $400,000 contract.