Covered bridge pavilion construction to begin

The construction on the Covered bridge pavilion in Jefferson’s Giddings Park is about to start with a goal of completion by the Covered Bridge Festival in mid October.

JEFFERSON — Work on the long-anticipated covered bridge pavilion at Giddings Memorial Park is scheduled to begin early next week.

Local officials — including John Smolen, former county engineer and owner of Smolen Engineering, Chuck Borsukoff, president of JCI Contractors, Mayor Judy Maloney, Clerk Treasurer Patricia Fisher and Village Administrator Pasquale Martuccio —celebrated Thursday with a groundbreaking ceremony at the park. 

Ashtabula-based JCI Contractors Inc. was awarded a $145,900 contract to do the work. Council had initially delayed accepting the contractor’s bid of $184,900, citing budgetary concerns.

In June, council approved moving forward with the lesser base bid and an amended contract, which achieved cost savings through eliminating some portions of the project and having the village perform certain aspects of the job.

The village received $100,000 from the state through a previous capital budget expenditure after $50,000 in matching funds were raised.

The village provided $25,000 toward the matching funds while the other $25,000 was received as donations from a number of individuals and businesses. State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, was instrumental in obtaining the grant, officials said.

The grant process began in October 2015 and in May 2016 funding was awarded, Fisher said. The Jefferson Garden Club will do landscaping and the Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus will help with some of the work.

“I’m excited it is finally official and through the state, community and village we are going to have this,” Fisher said.

Construction should be finished by the start of the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival, Maloney said.