Though the Fox Point Village Board still has not yet decided whether to rebuild, replace or remove the Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge, they allocated another $17,500 to planning purposes at their meeting Tuesday.
Ayers Associates, the contracter who the village to plan a new bridge, asked for the additional funding to meet the Village Board's requests for renderings of the bridge in order to solicit donations.
"These renderings is what this project is hinging upon," Trustee Christine Symchych said.
The board has resolved not to move forward with construction before residents secure $625,000 in donations for the project, with a deadline of January 31, 2013. That value is approximately half of a rough estimation for the total cost of constructing a new bridge, not including the approximately $250,000 cost of removing the old bridge.
Board members were critical of the new amount requested by Ayers Tuesday, but eventually approved the full $17,500 that comes on top of an original contract for $37,773, as Public Works Director Scott Brandmeier recommended.
The money will be allocated as follows:
- $2,500 for the bridge rendering plans
- $5,600 for formal landscape plans
- $5,400 for additional meetings with village officials
- $4,000 for administrative and project management
Two trustees, Symchych and F. R. Dengel, voted against approving the amended contract, expressing disappointment with Ayers for past work and the lack of specific explanation for the need for new funds.
"As far as the words in this document, I find them inadequate," Symchych said. "I’m feeling a little nickel-and-dimed by Ayers, to be honest. Vague language like that enables another revision and another $10,000 in cost, and honestly I’m getting a little frustrated by this."
Symchych said Ayers did not provide enough details about the renderings they would provide, such as whether they will be in color, the format and the size.
When Brandmeier said he thought those points could be presumed as adequate, Symchych was skeptical.
"I would have anticipated other things that haven’t happened either," she said.
"Me, too," Trustee Beverly Bell added, nodding.
However, for some on the board, a provision that Ayers promises to "make revisions as per Village comments" was comforting.
"I think we’re getting ourselves much too deeply into the nitty gritty of this particular thing," Trustee Eric Fonstad said. "I think we should be relying on staff to go forward. They’ve made their recommendation."
Additionally, Village President Michael West asked Brandmeier, the go-between with Ayers, to make it clear that Ayers should "bring their 'A game.'"
"We were a little underwhelmed by their landscape plan initially, which included cutting down all sorts of trees," Symchych said. "I am hoping that perhaps there’s a little creativity and innovation and nice graphics that accompany this because we need something that people can buy into, and way better than initially was presented. A reminder wouldn’t hurt."
Ayers plans to finish rendering drawings by May 15, on a track to present a final design to the public in November or December. They plan to complete construction bid documents by Dec. 21, so the village can open the project for bids Feb. 1.