The West Tisbury town hall renovation committee is considering asking town meeting voters in April to approve estimated costs rather than firm bid costs for the project.
Committee member Bea Phear told selectmen last week that the architects working on the proposal had advised the committee that the timeline was too tight to produce firm bids and finished drawings for town meeting. Keenan and Kelly Architects Ltd. of Falmouth are the renovation architects.
A public hearing on the renovation project is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Howes House.
Selectmen Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter and Glenn Hearn advised Ms. Phear that voters typically want hard costs on which to vote. While agreeing that contractors generally want to make sure projects are funded before doing detailed bid work, the renovation project is different.
“We’ve had $3.7 million in the bank for a year [for the project],” Mr. Manter said. The renovation is expected to cost about $5 million.
The town community preservation committee also plans to recommend that town meeting approve Community Preservation Act funds toward the project.
The renovation project has had some fits and starts at town meeting over the past three years. Voters overwhelmingly approved a $3.7 renovation budget in 2004, but rejected a projected cost overrun of nearly 50 per cent in 2005, derailing the renovation effort at that time.
In other action at their Nov. 28 meeting, the selectmen agreed to review the town’s option of right of first refusal to purchase 12.9 acres of land from a 110.3-acre tract owned by Arnie Fisher on the road to Great Neck off Tyers Cove Road. The 12.9-acre parcel has been listed for $20 million. The town has the right to purchase or to transfer its option to a non-profit organization.