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Council Likely to Meet Virtually through May as City's Governing Body Updated on Indoor Rec Complex

May 12, 2020
For the third meeting in a row, Bridgeport City Council met virtually with Council chambers open for anyone wishing to attend or to make public comment. No one attended the meeting that saw the governing body updated on the biggest city-funded project in Bridgeport history.
 
Bridgeport Special Projects Coordinator Fred Burton gave a presentation to Council on the status of the $38 million Bridgeport Sports and Indoor Recreation Complex. Burton is on site daily working with the contractors to make sure everything is in order and the lines of communications are smooth.
 
Burton gave a slide show presentation showing the progress. A bevy of the slides showed three photos, one representing the progress of an area in January, March and then in April. Those photos, along with the rest of the slides, showed the progress being made by contractor A.M. Higley and their subcontractors.
 
One of the key components of the project is coming along nicely.
 
“The gymnasium is about halfway complete,” said Burton, who said he hoped roofing would begin shortly. The gymnasium will serve as a host to various tournaments including basketball, volleyball, and others.
 
As for the pool area, 300 cubic yards of concrete will be arriving to pour the bottom of the pool. The concrete will be for the competition pool.
 
As of May 11, the contractors have used 5,545 cubic yards of concrete in the project Walls, footer, floors, flowable fills and other areas. To date, $11.5 million has been paid out to the contractor with the next payment set for $1.3 million likely to be approved at the next Council meeting.
 
Burton also said workers are cognizant of the current COVID-19 pandemic. He said the workers were in small groups.
 
“Construction workers are working in pods of about five or six in order that the project will be completed,” said Burton.
 
During the meeting, Council virtually did a proclamation by Mayor Andy Lang in recognition of Police Officers Memorial Day. The day is set for May 15 and recognizes officers who have died or have been injured in the line of duty.
 
Chief John Walker thanked the mayor and City Council for the proclamation.
 
The only financial item addressed involved putting money in the budget from the city selling old equipment. The equipment, said City Manager Randy Wetmore, sold for $11,255.
 
“We were able to sell a couple of three pieces of our old equipment,” said Wetmore.
 
The money will be added to the budget to purchase a commercial level mower for the cemetery that will see heavy use. Wetmore said roughly $17,000 is now available to make the purchase but anticipates the purchase will be less than the money available.
 
During the mayor’s report, Lang sang the praises of those in the city.
 
“I wanted to thank the city manager and department heads, everybody working in the city, the businesses, leaders of churches, citizens and the entire community for working well in this entire situation,” said Lang.
 
Council will also move the next meeting scheduled for May 25 to Tuesday, May 26. The reason for that is May 25 falls on Memorial Day. The newly scheduled meeting will still see the regular session begin at 7 p.m.
 
Wetmore and Lang anticipate that meeting to also be done virtually. They are hopeful the first meeting of June can be held in Council chambers with proper social distancing maintained.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Fred Burton making his presentation Monday evening, while recent work is shown with contractors putting in flooring on the second floor of one of the sections of the Bridgeport Indoor Sports and Recreation Complex.