QUEENSBURY — The salt shed roofs that have been eaten by salt are not getting replaced any time soon.
The town just opened its bids, and the lowest was $99,000. Town officials had expected bids at about $50,000.
“That’s why we were shocked,” said Queensbury Supervisor John Strough. “It’s just raising the height.”
The plan for each of the town’s salt sheds was to keep the cement slab and concrete walls in place, but build the walls up another 4 feet and add a new cloth canopy roof.
Officials never anticipated that such a seemingly small construction project would cost as much as a house.
“I just got a lot of sticker shock today,” Strough said after looking at the bids.
Although the town reached out to companies, urging them to bid, it only got two bidders.
The lowest was Eagle Associates of Cazenovia. The other bid, from Catalfamo Construction of Hudson Falls, was for $102,000.
Town officials are now wondering if there’s a cheaper way to solve their salt storage problem.
“We just want to put some feelers out — maybe prefab?” Strough said.
The existing shed near the Highway Department is in such bad shape that it is in danger of collapse. Last year, officials stopped letting people into the building and began working on a plan to repair it.
It was built in 2002 with 10-foot concrete walls. But workers needed more salt and began stacking it too high. When it sat against the corrugated-metal roof, it ate away at the metal.
Last year, the roof was buckling and pulling away from the walls.
“We did stabilize it, though, because we had to get through the winter,” said Highway Superintendent David Duell. “Hopefully before this coming winter we have a better idea of what we’re doing with it.”
In addition to fixing the building’s roof and raising the walls, he had hoped to relocate it to another part of the complex. He wants to move several outbuildings in preparation for a new highway garage. No plans have been finalized yet, but he thinks it would be wise to place new buildings in locations that would complement the possible project, rather than having to move them later.
The salt shed on Big Bay Road would also have gotten a new roof and taller walls in the project.