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Smithfield sports complex concession bids too pricey, officials said


The Smithfield Town Council may reject all four of the bids it received for the construction of a concession stand at the Joseph Luter Jr. Sports Complex.

As beginning construction phases of the sports complex are just days away, the council is attempting to temper the cost of a concession stand that would be built inside it.

The complex, a 37.2- acre sports complex with five baseball fields, a football and soccer field, and parking, will be built by R.A.D. Sports for no more than $2.89 million. The cost is funded through a $1 million donation from Smithfield Foods, a $2 million donation from Joseph Luter III, and a town land purchase for the site. However, the council is dissatisfied with the bids it received for a concession stand inside the complex, which have come in way above the council's ideal range, according to Town Manager Peter Stephenson.

"We cannot afford to build it like this," Mayor Carter Williams said by phone. "We just don't have the money. We've got a budget we've got to stick to."

The lowest bid, which came from David A. Nice Builders Inc. in Williamsburg, was $873,800, Stephenson said. Project engineers had estimated closer to $450,000, he said.

During the October council meeting, council members discussed the possibility of working with the lowest bidder to bring down the price, Stephenson said. However, the reduced bid came out to $664,156. On Tuesday, the parks and recreation committee recommended that the Town Council reject all bids that have come in for the construction stands.

Councilman Andrew Gregory said the council is committed to working within the budget.

R.A.D. could begin site work as soon as Monday, Stephenson said. The company is waiting on final permits from the county and from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The Town Council will vote on whether to reject the four bids on Dec. 6. If it does reject the bids, a new request for bids could be drafted and hopefully issued by the end of December, Stephenson said.

"We hope to get more than four bids, and to generate a lot more interest, and hopefully more competitive pricing," Stephenson said.

Smith can be reached by phone at 757-510-1663.

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