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Berlin issues RFP for Heron Park

Request for proposals to include work on demolition, clean-up on town property

Heron Park, formerly known as Berlin Falls Park, is closed indefinitely following a vote during a Berlin Town Council meeting. The park is closed while officials figure out other ways to pay for demolition costs.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Oct. 31, 2019) It’s take two for Heron Park as the Town of Berlin town has issued a request for proposals to complete demolition and cleanup projects at the site on Old Ocean City Boulevard.

Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood released the requests for proposals online last week.

The park, a former Tyson chicken processing plant, has found itself in trouble in recent months after an undisclosed amount of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda or lye) was spilled in June during demolition work done by another contractor.

Mayor Williams said during a Sept. 23 meeting that the town has spent $265,000 on the cleanup project, and will have spent about $283,000 once everything is completed.

Williams informed staff, council members and residents during a Sept. 23 Town Council meeting that Goody Hill Groundwork could finish the remaining demolition if the town authorized up to $55,000 to pay for a series of

Williams’ initiative was dismissed after receiving opposition from the public and some council members. The park was also closed indefinitely in a 3- 1 vote with Councilman Dean Burrell dissenting.

However, Fleetwood called Williams’ proposal a “high-end figure” that was “making a lot of assumptions for the unknowns.”

Fleetwood also clarified that “the unknowns” consisted of a scenario where underground piping could be discovered during the excavation process.

“I also want to emphasize that the discussion that evening about $55,000 … that was [a] worst-case scenario,” he said.

When asked about the reason for issuing the request for proposals, Fleetwood said that “we don’t have the materials nor the capabilities” to complete the demolition projects.

In addition to demolition, the request for proposals also allows for re- moval and disposal of any rubble.

Fleetwood said officials planned to more of take a realistic approach by delegating some of the work to town staff. He added that they would remove some debris and “backfill” any existing holes with dirt.

“Those are probably the two biggest factors,” he said.

A mandatory pre-bid visit is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday at the site. The visit is expected to last for one hour, and contractors will be able to survey the area and ask town staff any questions, according to the request for proposals.

Fleetwood said he is using the bid solicitation to get a better idea of how much demolition would cost for each project.

Following the site visit, contractors will have until Nov. 7 to submit addi- tional questions. Inquiries can be sent to Responses will be returned by Nov. 12. For more information, visit for-proposals/.

Contractors should submit an original bid and four copies to the Town of Berlin, Attn: Jeff Fleetwood, 10 William St. Berlin, Maryland 21811 by 11 a.m. on Nov. 20. The bid envelope should also have “Attn: RFP 2019-02” clearly marked, according to the request for proposals.

Fleetwood said staff would open bids, and the successful bidder would then go before the mayor and council. The exact meeting date is unclear, but Fleetwood said expected it to be on the schedule in early December.