TOWANDA - There was good news Thursday for those who are working to create the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park in Towanda.

There had been a question of whether there would be enough funds available to pay for Phase 2 of the park's construction, which is the next phase of the park's development.

But after bids were opened Thursday for Phase 2, officials said there are enough funds on hand to pay the apparent low bidder, Middendorf Contracting of Towanda, to construct Phase 2.

Middendorf Contracting submitted a bid of $149,950, said architect Jason Clapp, who has been working on the design of the park.

Phase 2 had been estimated to cost $186,000, Clapp said. To pay for Phase 2, the association has available $153,000 in unused funds from a state grant, plus another $10,000 to $15,000 that the association has raised, Clapp said.

If the Towanda Borough Council accepts Middendorf's bid, it's expected that the state grant funds will cover the cost of constructing Phase 2, including costs that would have to be paid out of a contingency fund, Clapp said.

Unless there are change orders that drive up the cost of Phase 2, the association won't have to tap funds it's raised to pay for Phase 2, Clapp said.

"I'm very pleased" with the outcome of the bid opening, said Joe Doherty, founder of the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association, the committee that is working to develop the park.

"This is great," said former Towanda Borough Manager Tom Fairchild Jr., who is now working on a temporary basis as a project manager for the borough.

There were three bids submitted by contractors to construct Phase 2.

The other two bids were: Chilewski Enterprises of Fleetville, Pa., $158,500, and D&M Construction Unlimited of Clarks Summit, Pa., $179,023.

Phase 2 consists of the construction of a paved 14-space parking lot for the park, a concrete sidewalk between Senator Roger A. Madigan Gateway Park and the parking lot, and an entrance from the parking lot to the main section of the park. The entrance includes a stairway, a handicapped access ramp with railing, and a split-face concrete block wall.

Clapp said he will now review Middendorf's bid.

If the council accepts Middendorf's bid, Middendorf would probably start construction by the beginning of September, Clapp said.

The public could use the parking lot for any purpose, not just for visiting the park, Towanda officials said. For example, the public could use the parking lot to do shopping in downtown Towanda or when using the Merrill Parkway's pedestrian trail, they said.

The park, which honors veterans and current members of the military service, is being constructed in four phases.

During the first phase, a retaining wall with flagpoles was constructed.

The park will be located on land owned by Towanda Borough. It will be bordered by U.S. Route 6, state Route 2027, the Merrill Parkway, and the Robert Farley Connector.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.