Bristol's plans for a permanent stage at Town Beach now 'on hold'

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 3/1/24

The Town anticipated a total budget of $300,000, with half coming from a grant. The bids came in at more than twice that.

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Bristol's plans for a permanent stage at Town Beach now 'on hold'


Just a couple of months after the Department of Parks and Recreation shared the exciting news that they were sending plans out to bid for a permanent stage at the Town Beach Complex, they have had to scuttle those plans — temporarily, at least.

Initially, the plan for the 42’ wide x 24’ deep structure were delayed when the State Building Official determined that the previous plan had placed the stage in a flood zone. The site was moved further away from Walter Burke Drive, out of the flood zone, a move that earned the Town approval from the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). All that was left to do was build.

The Town had planned to pay for the project in part with a $150,000 Placemaking grant that Bristol got from Rhode Island Commerce that came from the state’s federal Covid relief funding. The Town anticipated picking up the other half, assuming a total budget of $300,000. The bids came in at more than twice that.

“We have had to postpone the stage project due to escalating costs,” said Town Administrator Steven Contente. “The cost of the construction has doubled in the past couple of years, so the project is on hold.”

The Town rejected all bids and is now in the process of going back to Rhode Island Commerce in hopes of obtaining more grant money to get the project back on track.

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