West Penn Township supervisors on Tuesday hired Landis C. Deck and Sons of Bernville, Berks County, for $129,232.90 to build the first phase of West Penn Park East and baseball field.

The figure was revised down from the company's original bid of $191,159.15, and the scope of the project scaled back, supervisors said.

The hiring has been a long tiime coming. The township bought the parcel in 2000 and began planning the development of the park in 2002.

"Selecting a contractor for West Penn Park East is proof that the park is finally coming to fruition," said Supervisor Al Martinez. "We're glad to see the project move forward."

Supervisors at a special meeting Tuesday agreed to hire Deck, but noted that "standard contract negotiations need to occur in order for the township to deem the contractor selection official."

The township has gotten a total of $150,000 in grants for Phase 1 of the project: $125,000 in three separate grants through the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and $25,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Supervisors thanked the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission, state Sen. David G. Argall and the late Sen. James J. Rhoades for their help in obtaining the grants. "Without their help, this project could not have moved forward," Martinez said.

Seven companies submitted bids for the work in August, but all but the lowest bidder wanted amounts that were over the amount supervisors had budgeted. The lowest bidder, Dirt Work Solutions of Slatington, asked to drop out due to a math error. Dirt Work had bid a total of $130,311.

Landis C. Deck and Sons was the next lowest bidder. Others were RGC Development LP of Bath, Northampton County, which came in at $199,440; Grand Prix Excavating of Tamaqua, at $226,750; Hartman Contracting LLC of Lehighton, at $249,924.55; Livengood Excavators Inc., of Walnutport, at $330,927.80, and Tri-County Excavating of Hazleton, at $636,352.

The 35-acre park is to be built along Route 443 and Cold Spring Road, near the Carbon County line. Groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the project is expected to take place in spring of 2011 and completed by early summer. The plans include a multipurpose athletic field; a youth baseball field with infield, fence backstop and benches; entrance; a 37-space stone parking lot with paved spaces for people with disabilities and access pathways for the physically challenged.

Township engineer Rettew, Inc., of Schuylkill Haven, is guiding the project.