LEWISTON – The city hopes dividing up costs for a new park at 49 Main St. will keep them low enough to let crews break ground this fall.

City Engineer Rick Burnham said he needs Finance Committee approval to divide up plans for a gateway park on Main Street, across from Longley Bridge.

Burnham said he would ask for contractors to submit bids on as many five aspects of the park – the site work, granite and curb work, concrete and decorative masonry, landscaping, and a fountain.

“It could be as few as three pieces, depending on what contractors we talk to,” Burnham said. “There a lot of features here, even though it’s a small park.”

Earlier, the Finance Committee voted to reject the only bid submitted on the project, which came in at $446,000. That was about $200,000 more than the city had budgeted for the project. The committee recommended that the Public Works department assume responsibility for the work, completing the project within the $245,000 budget estimate.

Burnham hopes to do that by hiring subcontractors to complete pieces of the project. He hopes to present his plan to the committee at its Aug. 25 meeting.

“Our plan now is to have the major parts constructed this year,” Burnham said. “Then, we’ll hope to do the landscaping and the amenities – the bollards, the lights, benches – next spring. But you will see a park there this year.”

The city took the land by eminent domain last year, originally paying owner Mickey Amlotte $160,000 for the property. The city increased its payment to $265,000 after Amlotte sued.

Plans call for a gateway park to be built on the site, featuring a pond, walkway and Lewiston sign. The park would be the first thing drivers crossing that bridge would see coming into Lewiston from Auburn.

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