The village of Homer Board of Trustees unanimously accepted an undisclosed bid on Tuesday for the construction of a proposed bus shelter in front of the village’s recreation department building along South Main Street.
The proposed bus shelter, which has been in planning stages for approximately eight months, will finally move forward, according to Village deputy mayor Patrick Clune.
The bid, awarded to Handi-Hut, should cost the village less than the $5,000 allocated for the project. Clune said. The company out of New Jersey has built more than 40,000 public transportation shelters across the country, according to Handi-Hut’s website.
“Folks won’t have to wait under an umbrella in the rain (or snow) for the bus. It will also make it easier for people to know where to catch a bus if they are unfamiliar with the routes,” Clune said. “If we want to encourage the use of mass transportation, we need to provide some infrastructure to support its use.”
The proposed shelter would be located in front of the building 53 S. Main St. in the village, which is occupied by Highkey Science.
“The structure will be closer to the Homer American Legion side for multiple reasons, not the least of which is to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the 9/11 Memorial,” Clune said.
Part of the funding for this project will come from Cortland County, which in the past pledged to cover up to $10,000 worth of costs for the shelter thanks to a Federal Transit Administration grant.
“The other aspect is that this would have been difficult for the village to do on it’s own,” Clune said. “The financial support from the grant that the county is using has allowed the village to get a bus shelter that fits in aesthetically and functionally to the village architecture.”
Clune noted the centralized location for the shelter could have potential economic ramifications for other businesses in the area.
“We hope to benefit those that visit the Homer Center for the Arts, the Elizabeth Brewster House, those that utilize our downtown businesses and even youth who use the basketball courts (behind Highkey Science),” he added.
As for the next steps, Clune said the village will continue to work with the county on the implementation of the shelter.
“Now we go back and confirm with the county the bid we are looking at,” Clune said. “One of the things we looked at was: on the old quote we had a solar panel with a light that came in and on the new bid the new light is supposed to be motion activated. That will help save the battery.”
Clune said the two government entities will work together to finalize those smaller details.
“We expect it to be under what we originally budgeted,” he added, noting the board had approved up to $5,000 for the project. “We are looking to be coming well under that with the current quote, but I do not want to give a definite number until we get that clarified.”
Village mayor Hal McCabe praised Clune for his oversight of the project.
“I appreciate your tenacity,” McCabe told Clune. “I definitely think we should move forward with this.”