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Sally Buffalo Park Project Runs Into Snag

This rendering shows the proposed new Sally Buffalo Park stage to be built in three phases. (Image Provided)

Mark Puskarich, co-organizer of the annual Blues For a Cure concert at Sally Buffalo Park, spoke to Village Council on Thursday, announcing some not-so-good news — two bids received for the proposed new stage at the park came in higher than anticipated.

“So, we’re going to go back and make a few alterations and changes,” Puskarich said, adding he did not want to get too drastic with those changes before sending the project out for bid once again.

Puskarich, who is co-organizer with Sean Carney, said they hope the re-bidding will take place before the end of the year. He said that although estimates called for Phase I to cost around $250,000, both bids received were in the $350,000 range. Puskarich said they have not collected all the needed money yet, but they do have enough pledges to meet the $350,000 mark if needed.

“We’ve got enough pledges and things to cover that first phase (basic stage construction) … but all the other phases and the alternates that we have in the bid will probably be pretty much, for the most part, be out of play unless we get some more money in,” he said.

Puskarich is optimistic they will come up with the remainder of the money.

“It’ll be just kind of a how much more are we able to get in and then how much more can we do,” he said.

He estimated the length of time to finish the project might be up to three years with a total cost of $550,000 to $600,000. Phase II would consist of constructing the backstage area, with the third phase involving the restrooms. Phase I will be the base stage with a back wall and roof to construct.

Puskarich said he hopes work can be done through the winter months, but the contractor is yet to be selected. He said the timeline would also depend on the kind of financial support they can find, with some funding already coming from the state of Ohio in the form of a capital grant.

According to the website bluesforacure.com, organizers have raised more than $250,000 for the effort with the 10th concert held this past summer. The actual movement was “created in 2007 to honor those afflicted with cancer, fund cancer research and survivor programs and to perpetuate an American art form, Blues music,” according to the website.

Puskarich said they have to wait at least 10 days before sending the project out to be rebid.

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