ELKTON — After some delay, contractors will start work on a long-awaited project that will repair the brickwork surrounding the Elkton Chamber & Alliance as well as creating a focal point for some downtown events.

Priority Construction Corporation, of Baltimore, is expected to start in September to fix loose bricks on the sidewalk from from 101 E. Main St. and 108-112 North St., where the Elkton Chamber & Alliance is located, as well as to improve handicapped accessibility.

The Elkton Chamber & Alliance building used to serve as town hall decades ago, and serves as an informal town square for events like Music on Main Street. Mayor Rob Alt and town commissioners turned their attention to it when it was pointed out that the sidewalks, stoops, and the brick retaining wall needed to be touched up.

In addition to addressing those repairs, the town hoped to install an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramp that would run parallel to the steps, leading up to the Alliance’s entrance.

That ramp would connect to brick circle in front of the Alliance, which town officials hope could be a focal point for some town events.

Once the town had a $135,000 state Community Block Development Grant in hand, a bid was put out for the project. But when only one bid came in, the town put the project out for proposals again to solicit more offers.

Last May, two bids came in, Priority Construction at $133,130 and GES Guardian Environmental Services, of Newark, Del., at $267,400. Per the town’s procurement policy, the town accepted Priority Construction Corp.’s bid but town officials went to negotiate the bid once again, since grant stipulations required $25,000 be used for design work.

At the end of the day, Elkton officials agreed to remove landscaping, benches, and a trash can in the project, in total lowering the final cost of the project to $100,680.

Construction is expected to start on Sept. 1, according to town officials.

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