Cumberland Times-News

Local News

September 10, 2013

Old Memorial Hospital demolition savings could aid street, utility work

Some bids coming in $2 million under what was projected

CUMBERLAND — In a Cumberland City Council meeting Tuesday evening that lasted less than 20 minutes, an item that wasn’t on the agenda took center stage.

That item was generated by constituent questions and ideas about how funds from potential savings on the demolition costs for the old Memorial Hospital could be spent, said Councilman David Kauffman. Kauffman said a number of constituents had asked about the question after bids for the project came in lower than expected.

City Administrator Jeff Rhodes cautioned that “the cart shouldn’t be put before the horse,” since a contract was not yet awarded and there were limitations on use of the funds built into the bond issue for $3.5 million. The $3.5 million estimate was based on the demolition of the old Washington County Hospital, Rhodes said.

“When we wrote the document, we didn't want to come up short,” Rhodes said.

Seventeen contractor bid packages to demolish the old hospital included proposals ranging from the lowest offer of $1.5 million to a high bid of $4 million. There was more than one bid in the low end of the range, said Rhodes. “It’s comforting there were two bids in the same ballpark,” Rhodes said. That left Rhodes optimistic there could indeed be substantial savings at hand. The low bid, if accepted, could mean up to $2 million the city could have available.

City staff needs to review the bids, recommendations and specifications of the contractors before recommending an award, which Rhodes hopes will happen in the next few weeks. Change orders during the process are always possible, which could increase costs during the contract and affect the amount of leftover funds.

The language of the bond issue requires additional funds be spent on road paving and utility work, so they aren’t available for general spending by the city, Rhodes said. “We intentionally included other purposes,” Rhodes said, in case there were funds left over.

Demolition will begin almost immediately upon award of the contract and should be completed within 365 days, Rhodes said. At first, contractors will clear the building of hazardous substances and be doing other internal demolition, Rhodes said.

“The upshot is that the cost of the demolition is much less than estimated,” said Councilman Nick Scarpelli.

“It looks like that,” Rhodes said.

In other business, the council appointed individuals to boards and commissions.

Kathryn Gattens was appointed to the Shade Tree Commission. Appointed to the Downtown Development Commission were Sharon Mike, Bill Shaffer, Jo Ann Circosta, Terry Michels and Steven B. Leyh. Appointed to the Neighborhood Advisory Commission were Royce Hedrick, Kathryn Gattens, Jennifer Jeudy and Michael Cassidy.

Officials conducted a closed administrative session on collective bargaining and to consult counsel for legal advice, which occurred before the council meeting. A notice had been sent to inform the public and press of the closed meeting.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at

Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners