West Penn Township has received seven bids for the construction of a recreational park off of SR443 near the border of Schuylkill and Carbon counties.

Dubbed West Penn Park East, the property along Cold Spring Road was acquired by the township 10 years ago and has been in the developmental phase since 2002, according to Jason Boris, executive director of the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission (ESRC), a Tamaqua area-based intermunicipal organization of which West Penn Township is a member.

The township acquired the property with the intention of adding another recreation area to complement West Penn Community Park, which is located off of SR309 (West Penn Pike).

Ron Madison of Rettew Inc., Schuylkill Haven, the township's engineering consultant, conducted the bid opening Tuesday afternoon at the West Penn Municipal Building. Also in attendance were Boris and Alfonso Martinez, chairman of the board of supervisors, as well as representatives from the contractors bidding on the project.

A total of nine firms attended the pre-bid meeting on Aug. 20, and all but two of them submitted bids for the park work.

The scope of the project includes earthwork, grading, creating an access way into the property, laying out a stone parking lot, constructing an all-purpose recreational field and the appropriate underdraining, as the property is located in a flood plain.

A baseball field, including an infield, backstop and benches, was included as an alternate in the bid package.

The apparent low bidder was Dirt Work Solutions, LLC, of Slatington, which submitted a base bid of $74,752, with an addition of $47,559 for the baseball field.

Other bids submitted were from the following: Landis C. Deck and Sons Site Contractors, Bernville, $154,942 (plus $36,217,15 for the baseball field); RGC Development, Bath, $169,840 (plus $29,500 for the field); Grand Prix Excavating, Claremont Avenue, Tamaqua, $174,750 (plus $52,000); Hartman Contracting LLC, Lehighton, $210,204.05 (plus $39,720.50); Livengood Excavators Inc., Walnutport, $277,492.80 (plus $53,435); and Tri County Excavation, Hazleton, $310,676 (plus $15,000).

ESRC assisted the township in acquiring $150,000 in state grant funding for the project. That includes $125,000 through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), of which $50,000 was obtained through then-State Representative David Argall and $75,000 through the Keystone Fund. The Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) kicked in $25,000 through the late State Senator James J. Rhoades.

"We are thrilled that we got seven qualified bidders for the project," said Boris. "If the low bid is acceptable, it falls within our budget for the project."

Madison said the documents will be reviewed to make certain the bids are accurate and meet the scope of the project. He added that he will make a recommendation for the supervisors to consider at their next meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.