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Town Square design contract awarded

(11/10) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at their November 5 meeting to approve a contract that could lead to improving the appearance of Town Square.

The contract to produce potential designs for Town Square improvements was awarded to Seth Harry & Associates, in association with Townscape Design and CMS Associates, in the amount of $41,710.

The three companies, led by Baltimore-based Seth Harry & Associates, collectively awarded the contract work together as a team. Town Planner Susan Cipperly said the team has "regional and international experience" and described them as "a consortium of three different firms that have worked together a lot. (They) work very well together."

Rejected bids among the top three submitters included a $45,870 bid placed by an un-named Baltimore firm, and a $48,100 bid placed by a un-named Washington, D.C. firm. A total of ten bids were received for the proposed project.

The amount of money that could be spent on consultants was just over $48,000, according to the terms of the grant.

The work is being funded through a matching Heart of the Civil War Heritage grant of $56,000, of which the town would be responsible for 50 percent of the costs. However, Emmitsburg is permitted to use town staff time and labor, and associated costs, as part of their $28,000 commitment.

The contract, dubbed "Design for Emmitsburg Town Square," consists of producing several plans for improving the square, which could be phased-in over time, or as budgets will allow, according to Cipperly. "It doesnít have to happen (implanting the approved redesign) at once."

However, she said, having an approved design plan in place will help with pursing other funding sources.

Mayor Donald N. Briggs noted that the state is also contributing work towards the redesign project. "The State Highway Administration is doing a lot of the design work (as well). Itís their intersection, anyway."

Cipperly stated that the Maryland Historic Trust will also review the design plans. Following any final adjustments, then a final presentation will be made to the town board. "You will decide which plan is the preferred plan. That will be in January."

As the process develops, Cipperly stated that public meetings will be held to allow input from the residents and businesses of Emmitsburg.

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