(Due to a software error,a new Parks page was created 7/19/2017. Click here earlier Parks related meeting summaries,including earlier discussions about the Granite Knolls Sports Complex and Shallow Creek.
Click here for more recent discussions about Shallow Creek/Par 3)
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Parks Department - Miscellaneous Issues
Town Board 2-11-2020
The board heard a presentation from Capture Point LLC about its Community Pass software program that would enable town residents to register for Parks Department programs online. The vendor explained that the company has 400 clients (municipalities and school districts) in 36 states, including many in Westchester, Rockland and the Town of Carmel in Putnam County. Once a family account is set up, he said registering for program could take 2.5 minutes.
The board was very supportive of the program, agreeing that online registration would make registration much easier and more convenient for residents and that it would also reduce staff costs. The town attorney is reviewing the contract with the vendor. (Note: the cost of the program was not discussed.)
Supervisor Slater said that the program would be phased in: Initially it would be used to sign up for recreation programs, to be followed for camp registration and ultimately for pool passes. It was explained that the system is secure and that private data is not sold to third parties.
Legacy Fields/Enbridge agreement
Parks Superintendent Martorano and Rec Commission member Matt Talbert explained that a pole mounted security camera at Legacy Field is located on Enbridge property, creating the need for an agreement with Enbridge. The town will have full control of the camera, and although the town, not Enbridge, will be responsible for any damage to the camera, Mr. Talbert explained that this should not be an issue as the camera only cost $285. The board approved a resolution authorizing the supervisor to sign the agreement, subject any amendments the town attorney added.
Parks Lien Release Agreement
Mr. Martorano and the town attorney explained that it was standard practice in the construction industry to have lien release agreements that allowed the town to release payment based on completed work. The town currently does not have such an agreement in place; the issue surfaced with a Granite Knolls contractor. The town attorney will prepare a boiler plate agreement that will be modified, as needed, for specific jobs.
Parks related updates to Town Codes
Mr. Martorano advised the board that from the perspective of the Parks Department, several town codes needed updating.
Lighting. The code, written many years ago, requires outdoor lights to be shielded to prevent light spillover. Mr. Martorano explained that the code does not reflect the newer technology that makes shields unnecessary. He explained that there was no spill over from the lights at Granite Knolls although the fact that there are lit fields cannot be avoided. He said that while most of the lights did not require shields, some did, and he suggested that the code be amended to reflect the need for flexibility.
Advertising on town fields. The town will massage a home rule message used by New Castle that gave the town permission to install paid advertising at its fields. As proposed, the Yorktown legislation would apply only to Granite Knolls and Legacy and the town would have to develop standards for the signs. Supervisor Slater suggested that as the home rule message works its way through the state legislature, the town should start work on the standards, e.g., color, type and size. It was agreed that the revenue from the advertisements be placed in a “turf replacement” fund.
Mr. Talbert explained that turf had to be replaced between 12-15 years at a cost of $500,000-$600,000 and that the existing fund did not have sufficient funds to cover the cost for replacing the 9 year old Legacy turf. While the Legacy field has not been used during the pipeline construction, Mr. Talbert explained that not using the field actually hurts the field.
Smoking/vaping. The town’s smoking code is outdated and does not conform to the Clean Air Act. Mr. Martorano said the issue was mostly for events when there are groups of people.
Parks Department vehicle
M. Martorano advised the board that a 2019 purchase order for a utility truck was never used because by the time the order was placed, the requested vehicle was no longer available. He asked, and the board approved, to purchase the truck with 2020 funds at a cost of $45,135, compared to the planned 2019 expense of $46,329,
Granite Knolls Sports Complex
Town Board, 4-16-2019
Al Avitable, a member of the Recreation Commission reported that work at the complex was between 90%-95% complete and that the fields are currently in use on a limited basis pending completion of the project which he anticipated would happen in about 3-4 weeks. The town has formally “accepted” the fields from the contractor after four previous requests had been refused. He advised the board that the Rec Commission is looking for outside funds to help finance the construction of a playground and also noted that if all the complex’s facilities were used at the same time, that parking would not be adequate. He also said that the town needed to proceed with the installation of a traffic light at Stoney and East Main Street and that security cameras were needed at the complex. (Note: the town has an RFP out for security cameras.)
Town Board, 12-18-2018
During courtesy of the floor, a representative of the Yorktown Athletic Club (YAC) advised the board that his group needed confirmation on the fees for field use next spring before it begins its spring registration which was slated to begin January 1st. In response, Todd Orlowski, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, advised the board that the Recreation Commission had been reviewing the new fee structure and he anticipated a decision at its January meeting. He said the proposed fees would be about $5 or $10 more per hour than what was currently being charged for Legacy and that the increase was needed in order to meet the Commission’s goals. When he suggested that a special meeting could be held before January 1 so that the YAC would know the exact fee schedule, Councilman Lachterman, supported by Councilman Diana, suggested that the fees for town clubs for 2019 be the same as the current Legacy fees and that the Commission had time to work out a different fee structure for non-town group use. Councilwoman Roker expressed concern that by charging the lower Legacy fee, the town would not be able to meet its goals.
On Councilman Lachterman’s motion, the board voted unanimously to have town clubs pay the same fees in 2019 as they paid in 2018.
There was a brief discussion about whether sports teams from the town’s two school districts would have to pay to use the fields. Mr. Orlowski advised the board that the Yorktown School District has shown some interest. In the past, the town has not charged the school district for use of Legacy, although the Yorktown School District does charge the athletic cubs for use of school fields while the Lakeland School District does not. The general sense was that the free use of the fields should be reciprocal and that a dialogue between the town and school districts was needed.
Later in the meeting, the board adopted two resolutions: one to pay DeVito Builders $34,500 to install the pavilion and a change order in the amount of $51,902 to provide some additional protective fencing and install a safety net system. The later amount will be offset by a credit for an unused line item.
Town Board, 9-4-2018
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Todd Orlowski and Rec Commission member Al Avitable gave an update. The complex is between 75%-80% complete and the goal is to have it open by mid-October. The weather and some last minute design changes have caused some delays. Both stressed that the complex wasn’t just for kids but had facilitities such as a putting green, walking trails and a picnic area for adults.
Mr. Avitable said he took exception to comments in a recent newspaper article that he characterized as “political gotcha,” adding that he was speaking as a town resident, not a Republican or a Democrat. Regarding the controversial lighting grant, (see 8/7/2018 meeting summary below), he said that the Rec Commission had never been notified about the possible grant for lighting and that the lighting that was eventually purchased was less expensive than what the previous board had been considering. Councilman Lachterman defended his comments from the previous meeting saying that he had a right to expect answers to his questions.
During Courtesy of the Floor, former supervisor Grace said that contrary to what Supervisor Gilbert said at the previous meeting, he had discussed the lighting grant at length with the incoming supervisor;. He took umbrage at the current supervisor’s characterization of the transition meeting
After Mr. Orlowski advised the board that Marshall Alarm Systems would be submitting a proposal for surveillance cameras at the complex, others noted the vandalism problems at other town facilities and the difficulties the police have in dealing with the incidents.
Town Board, 8-7-2018
In response to a question from Councilman Lachterman, Supervisor Gilbert asked Park & Recreation superintenden Todd Orlowski to provide an update on the sports complex. Mr. Orlowski advised that August will be a busy month at the site and will include the installation of the artificial turf, bringing electric and water service to the site, and beginning the erection of the pavilion, dugouts and rest rooms.
Councilman Lachterman expressed concern that some changes to the plan, including the material used for the pavilion roof and the use of asphalt instead of concrete for the “pad” on which the pavilion will be erected were made by the Recreation Commission and not the Town Board and that he had learned of the changes secondhand. Acknowledging that both changes were made to reduce costs, he said he was concerned that switch to asphalt that will require more maintenance over time might be “penny wise, pound foolish.” He said it was his belief that the Town Board had control over the implementation of the Granite Knolls contracts. In response, Supervisor Gilbert said that the Parks & Rec Department was authorized to make changes in contract details and that if Councilman Lachterman had any questions he should phone the supervisor or see him in his office.
Councilman Lachterman also raised the issue of what he said was a “lost” $300,000 grant that Senator Murphy had something to do with for the field’s lighting system. Mary Capoccia, former Supervisor Grace’s assistant, said that at a December 28 transition meeting between Mr. Grace and Mr. Gilbert, the former advised the incoming supervisor about the grant and that action had to be taken within the coming months. In response, Supervisor Gilbert said that the December meeting was “short, vague and useless” and that he had no recollection of a lighting grant ever having been raised at the meeting.
Councilman Lachterman also asked if the fields would have a security system. Mr. Orlowski said there were no plans and that the town needed to consult with Marshall Alarm System, the town’s outside vendor for security systems, about what could be done.
Town Board, 6-5-2018
Without any discussion, the board passed the following resolutions:
n Advertise for bids for the installation of the pavilion and adaptive dugouts
n Waive building permit fees
n Hire Site Design Consultants, at a cost of $1,500 to draft a sewer easement site plan through the Shrub Oak International School property
Town Board, 5-1-2018
In an item not on the agenda, the board voted to authorize the purchase of lighting for the sports complex at a cost of $539,000. Town Clerk Quast, who is also the chairman of the Recreation Commission, noted that thanks to the work of the of Commission, the cost was substantially lower than the original $1.2 million estimate.
Town Board, 4-10-2018
Joe Riina, the consulting engineer in charge of the project, gave a status report. Due to the weather and the wet conditions on the ground, some construction has been delayed; the anticipated opening date is now early June.
After a presentation from members of the Recreation Commission and Parks Superintendent Orlowski on lighting options for the fields and walkways and the need to have the lighting installed before the tur is installed, the board authorized the purchase of lighting; the cost was not identified. Comptroller Caporale advised the board that, to date, costs are approximately $152,000 in excess of the $6.370 M the town received from Spectra but that there might be additional costs. She will prepare budget transfer resolutions for next week’s board meeting to cover already authorized costs. The Commission is still reviewing plans to purchase the necessary buildings off state contract.
Town Board, 2-6-2018
Ed Ciffone asked about additional costs to complete the project. In response, Councilman Lachterman said that the town had received $6.1 million from Spectra that will be used for the project and Supervisor Gilbert said he anticipated that there will be a shortfall of funds and that he was “working on it.”
In a 3-2 vote with Supervisor Grace and Councilman Patel voting no, the board voted to award the turf contract to Shaw Sports for $1,037.785. Supervisor Grace explained that after meetings with Shaw and LandTek that included town staff and members of the athletic clubs, the difference between the two bids was reduced so that the Shaw bid was only $80,000 more than LandTek.
At the budget hearing, Several residents spoke about the importance of completing the project, including installing the lighting and constructing bathrooms. Supervisor Grace said the town has a $700,000 estimate for lighting and a $600,000 quote for the buildings (a pavilion and rest rooms) although he added that the latter was for unnecessary “taj mahal like” buildings. He said the complex would be completed without using any taxpayer funds.
Although the board had anticipated voting for a $1.1 million turf after the hearing, that vote was postponed. See ‘work session” summary below.
After adjoining the regular meeting, the board went into a work session format to discuss the selection of a vendor for the turf at Granite Knolls. Initially, the board was planning to vote to award the $1,181,521 contract to Shaw Sports. However, during the regular meeting, representatives of a competing firm, LandTek, asked for an opportunity to discuss their proposal with the board in greater detail.
A representative of the firm said that its product, which would cost $230,000 less than the Shaw product, was a better product. He also questioned on what basis the board resolution included comparative statements that implied that the Shaw product was superior to other products. Based on the discussion, the board agreed to meet with the representatives Thursday morning, at 10:30 in a specially convened work session. (Note: LandTek supplied the turf for Legacy Field and there were some comments about the turf having underperformed.)
Town Board, 11-28-2017
A representative of Shaw, one of the companies that submitted RFPs for the turf, discussed the differences of the various turf options his company offers. The board appeared to settle on the highest quality option that would cost more but have the longer life span. The board also decided to go with recycled rubber infill, the pros and cons of different infill options having been previously discussed. Although board members appeared to have information on the cost of the various options, no figures were discussed.
Supervisor Grace noted that the athletic clubs were interested in having a second 90’ field created in the complex that would require some adjustment of the proposed lines of the already planned field. No decision was made and Supervisor Grace noted that the clubs would be meeting the following evening.
In a last minute addenda to the meeting agenda, Parks Superintendent Todd Orlowski presented the board with the results of the RFP for artificial turf for the three fields. Four vendors responded. After rejecting two bidders (one didn’t meet all the specs and the other installed the turf at Legacy that Mr. Orlowski said was “under performing”) Mr. Orlowski said his recommendation was to go with Shaw that was about $100,000 more than the other proposals. Although he presented the board with a spread sheet on the cost of various proposals, the precise numbers were not made public; the figure of “about $900,000” was mentioned and Supervisor Grace said the numbers came in at about what was expected.
There was some discussion about the material used as a base for the turf with concerns being expressed about rubber being possibly carcinogenic. Supervisor Grace didn’t think that was a problem but said that in order to allay any concerns he had no problem with using sand instead of rubber even though sand required more maintenance than rubber and had to be replaced over time. It was also noted that for players, sand and rubber had different impacts. The product has an 8 year warranty and the same company will provide the turf and install it. Shaw is available on state contract.
It was not clear at the end of the discussion if a decision had been made and the okay given to order the turf from Shaw.
Authorized the supervisor to sign an Access Agreement with the Phoenix House Foundation to permit Montesano Brothers access to the site with heavy construction equipment.
The board approved a $3.850 million transfer from the General Fund fund balance to a capital projects line in order to pay for the contract already award3ed to Montesanto Brothers. In response to a question from Councilman Patel, Supervisor Grace said that the town had received the check from Enbridge pursuant to the recent agreements the board approved with the pipeline company.
Maintenance: In response to previous questions regarding ongoing maintenance costs for the complex, Supervisor Grace said that the complex would be revenue generating and will either be budget neural or will generate a profit. One source of revenue he mentioned, but without any details, was advertising revenue. He said that the lack of adequate facilities had been limiting the town’s revenue.
Artificial turf: In a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Patel voting no, the board voted to advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the artificial turf for the fields. In response to Mr. Patel’s comments that the board should be advertising for bids, not an RFP, Supervisor Grace said that there were many variables to consider regarding the type of turf and that there was strong interest from vendors in submitting proposals. He said that one vendor had suggested that the corners of the three planned fields could be made into additional small ballfields.
When Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary) commented during Courtesy of the Floor that given the amount of time the board had already spent planning the project, she thought it would already know exactly what type of turf it wanted, the supervisor said that going out or an RFP to get ideas did not preclude eventually going out for a competitive bid after the RFP process. Ms. Siegel noted that unlike bids that are public and where the board must take the lowest responsible bid, RPFs are reviewed in closed session and the board doesn’t have to accept the lowest price
In a 5-0 vote, the board awarded the $3,850,000 construction bid to Montesano Brothers. Before the vote, Councilman Patel expressed concern that the supervisor had not been honest about letting him or the public know what the full cost of the project that included the artificial turf, lighting and building would be. However, he said that despite this reservation, he believed there was a need for the fields and he wanted to do something for the youth of the town. Supervisor Grace took issue with some of Mr.Patel’s comments which he took as an insult and which he called “absolute nonsense.” He criticized Mr. Patel for his 2013 vote that killed a plan to build the fields during the first phase of the pipeline project.
During Courtesy of the Floor, after Lanny Gilbert also questioned what the total cost of the project would be, adding that the board should let residents know the full cost before going forward with the plan, the supervisor stated that he had quotes for the turf for the three fields from two vendors that were in the $1.1 million range which he called a “worse case” scenario.
Town Board, 3-10-2020
Mr. Martorano gave the board an update on dealing with the DEC, regarding both the progress on the wetlands permit and also the agency’s stormwater division. A second DEC violation notice has been addressed. Gonig forward, at issue is a disagreement over the extent to which a stormwater plan has to be prepared – an issue that is based on differing interpretations of how much land is being disturbed. Supervisor Slater said he has been in touch with the DEC in an effort to a resolve the issue.
Planning Board 3-9-2020 The applicant did not have the seating plan for the restaurant that the board needs to calculate the number of parking spaces that are needed. The applicant said he would provide the information at the board’s next meeting. Town Board 2-25-2020
Planning Board 3-9-2020
The applicant did not have the seating plan for the restaurant that the board needs to calculate the number of parking spaces that are needed. The applicant said he would provide the information at the board’s next meeting.
Town Board 2-25-2020
Mr. Martorano and others associated with the project gave the board an update that repeated much of what they had discussed at Monday’s Planning Board meeting (see below).
Mr. Martorano added that he expected the DEC to issue the wetlands permit in about a week but that he wasn’t sure when the Arnold Palmer Foundation that will be doing the construction work will be able to begin. He added that the restaurant and driving range which is not included in the area included in the wetland permit application should be able to open later this year and that the rest of the course would have to wait for one growing season. He said he would also be asking the town to pay the permit fees although he would have to check what the exact amount of the fee was.
Planning Board, 2-24-2020
The applicant presented a parking plan that provides for 50 spaces and meets the code’s requirement for a par 3 course, adding that an additional 40 spaces were available along the service road that is owned by the DOT but maintained by the town.
The parking plan does not factor in parking requirements for the restaurant that will have 49 seats, but the applicant explained that the restaurant was not likely to be busy when the golf course was open. The board asked for a few more details on the parking plan and a floor plan for the restaurant space.
The applicant advised the board that the DEC violations had been addressed and that the documents needed for a DEC wetlands permit have been submitted. The driving range is not part of the DEC permit application.
The board decided that a public information hearing was not needed because the project was only a renovation of an existing use and will tentatively hold a regular public hearing on March 23.
Town Board, 2-11-2020
Mr. Martorano gave the board an update, explaining that the leasee had been given a laundry list of documents needed by the Planning Board and that the lease was working with the town engineer to get the necessary documents to the DEC within the 10 day time frame required in the non financial notice of violation.. He advised the board that the leasee couldn’t do anything at the site until the DEC issued a permit.
Planning Board, 2-10-2020
The item was withdrawn from the agenda as the applicant advised Mr. Tegeder that it would not be ready with the documents that the board requested. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that he had a meeting of interested parties last week. Mr. Fon asked to be included in future meetings.
Town Board 2-4-2020
The board authorized the supervisor to sign the DEC wetlands permit application. In response to a question during Courtesy of the Floor, Supervisor Slater said that RC Recreation Development LLC, the company that has the contract to operate the golf course, would be responsible for paying all permit fees, although it was later clarified that the building permit fee for the restaurant building renovation had been waived in 2016.
Councilman Lachterman noted that the tree cutting that took place several months ago was not accidental and Parks Superintendent Jim Martorano, Jr. said that only about one quarter of the trees were rotten, not 95% as a member of the applicant’s team told the Planning Board.
Supervisor Slater said that the town would assist the applicant in order to expedite the approval process and do what it could to fast track the project. The applicant has a contract for some work to start on the site in March.
Town Board, 1-28-2020
(See Planning Board discussion below.) Following the discussion at Monday’s Planning Board meeting, the board was advised that the company that is developing the property will need a DEC wetlands permit and other documents associated with the need to have an approved site plan. Mr. Quinn said that as of now the company had sketches of its intended improvements but no actual plan approved by a professional who would be in charge of the project. Questions were raised as to why the project had proceeded without following the established process. Among the reasons cited: the death of the person originally in charge of the project and the absence of his paprwork, the town’s preoccupation the Granite Knolls project, and the confusion as to who was responsible for what in this private/public partnership.
While Supervisor Slater said that the town will assist the company to move the project forward as quickly as possible, Mr. Tegeder said that the company might not be able to meet its timetable. There was the possibility, though, that the first hole might be able to open by June.
Planning Board 1-27-2020 Mr. Tegeder advised the board that no one knew what was happening at the site and that the Planning Board should be involved in the project. After some discussion, the applicant was advised that before proceeding, the Planning Board would require a site plan, tree restoration plan, stormwater and erosion plans and a parking plan. It was noted that the town engineer would be contacting the DEC to determine whether a DEC wetlands permit was also needed. The board’s attorney advised the applicant that based on its lease from the town, it was the applicant’s responsibility to prepare all these documents and obtain the required permits. The applicant advised the board that it had obtained Health Department approval for its septic system but that it was open to connecting to the town’s sewer system sometime in the future. Several possible connection routes were identified. Mr. Tegeder noted that the applicant had some February obligations and that the approval process, based on the receipt of the required documents, would need to be fast tracked. Councilman Lachterman, who participated in the discussion, acknowledged that the documents and permits being requested by the board should have been submitted earlier and acknowledged that the project had not been proceeding the right way, i.e., following the established approval process. A member of the Rec Commission asked for guidance on where the process had gone wrong in order to learn from what had happened so as not to repeat the same problems for future projects, such as improvements to the Holland Sporting Club. The simple response from Mr. Tegeder was that any project that involved a parking plan required Planning Board review and approval. Town Board 1-14-2020
Planning Board 1-27-2020
Mr. Tegeder advised the board that no one knew what was happening at the site and that the Planning Board should be involved in the project. After some discussion, the applicant was advised that before proceeding, the Planning Board would require a site plan, tree restoration plan, stormwater and erosion plans and a parking plan. It was noted that the town engineer would be contacting the DEC to determine whether a DEC wetlands permit was also needed. The board’s attorney advised the applicant that based on its lease from the town, it was the applicant’s responsibility to prepare all these documents and obtain the required permits.
The applicant advised the board that it had obtained Health Department approval for its septic system but that it was open to connecting to the town’s sewer system sometime in the future. Several possible connection routes were identified.
Mr. Tegeder noted that the applicant had some February obligations and that the approval process, based on the receipt of the required documents, would need to be fast tracked.
Councilman Lachterman, who participated in the discussion, acknowledged that the documents and permits being requested by the board should have been submitted earlier and acknowledged that the project had not been proceeding the right way, i.e., following the established approval process. A member of the Rec Commission asked for guidance on where the process had gone wrong in order to learn from what had happened so as not to repeat the same problems for future projects, such as improvements to the Holland Sporting Club. The simple response from Mr. Tegeder was that any project that involved a parking plan required Planning Board review and approval.
Town Board 1-14-2020
The applicant discussed the status of the improvement plans and advised the board that he anticipates a soft opening of at least one hole for a driving range and the building in June. He said that about 80 trees had been removed but that he plans to plant 120-140 new trees, selecting species that would absorb water. The board was enthusiastic about the plan.
Town Board, 5-8-2018
(Click here for meeting notes through 2016.) Diana Quast, chairman of the Recreation Commission, advised the board that the partner of the deceased person who had the license wants to take over the license. She suggested, and the board agreed, to amend the contract so that the 2014 10-year contract period starts anew at 2018, with the option for two 5-year renewals. It was also agreed that if the restaurant project fails, any equipment left on site would become town property. A resolution will be voted on next week.
Town Boad, 10-2-2018
The board awarded the bid for the repair and resurfacing of the tennis courts with the first phase of the work being resurfacing the lower Downing courts and reconstructing the upper Downing courts for a total of $152,500 to be paid out of the Parks and Recreation Trust Account. (Note: funds in the trust account come for developers of residential properties.)
Town Board, 9-25-2018
(During Courtesy of Floor, a resident asked about the status of the bids to repair the tennis courts. The response was postponed until the work session portion of the meeting.)
Park & Recreation Superintendent Orlowski reported that two bids had been received, with separate quotes to repair the lower Downing and Blackberry courts and to rehabilitate the Shrub Oak and upper Downing Courts. The total packages ranged from $305,680 to $486,000 (the cost figures may not be exact).
Mr. Orlowski suggested that the work be done in phases with the two Downing courts being done first (estimated cost for both would be $152,000.) The issue for the board was: where would the money come from. Councilman Diana advised the board that the contractor for a planned development was willing to do the work in lieu of the recreation component that was part of the project’s approved subdivision plan. Whether the plan could be amended, however, or how this switch would work remained to be worked out. Also at issue was how much money was in the Trust & Agency Fund that could potentially pay for the work. The board will confer with the comptroller.
Town Board, 6-5-2018
Larry Killian asked the board what was being done to address what he called an emergency situation with the town’s tennis courts. He asked that the town give priority to the lower Downing courts because they have lights. Later in the evening, the board approved a resolution to advertise for bids to resurface and reconstruct the town’s courts. During the second Courtesy, after Mr. Killian and Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked for more specifics about the bid, including what courts were included in the bid and where the money to pay for the work would come from, Town Clerk Diana Quast, who is also the chairman of the Recreation Commission, responded that the bid would include all the town’s tennis courts but that the Commission had no idea what the cost would be until it received the bids. She said the work could be funded by the Trust and Agency and that the town would seek grants.