By STEVE JONES Staff writer

The city has chosen Ocuto Blacktop & Paving of Rome for the first phase of its street repair project, agreeing to a contract for almost $1.4 million Thursday.

The Board of Estimate and Contract voted 4-0 to award the contract to Ocuto, the lowest bidder. Mayor Joseph R. Fusco Jr., Public Works Commissioner Frank D. Tallarino Jr., Treasurer David C. Nolan and Common Council President John J. Mazzaferro were all in support. Corporation Counsel Timothy A. Benedict was excused from the meeting.

The phase one contract will pay Ocuto $1,378,004. That was the company’s bid. The other bids came from Dolomite Products Co. of Canastota ($1,424,154.34) and Barrett Paving Materials, an Ohio-based company with regional offices in Watertown ($1,443,862.40).

This project has begun already, and must be completed by the third week in September.

The city has bonded for $2.5 million for the entire road project this summer, and phase one represents about 40 percent of that work. This component has no street constructions, only cold-milling of streets to put new top layers on them.

The board also approved advertising for bids for the 2012 federal Community Development Block Grant-funded Depeyster Street reconstruction and water main replacement project.

The city wants to reconstruct the street along the 550-foot block between Louisa and North streets. The contract will be for road reconstruction, curb replacement and a new water main. The city will replace sidewalks itself.

The bids are due by 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, in the City Clerk’s Office. This will allow the city to choose a contractor and award the bid at the board’s Aug. 9 meeting. The work can then begin immediately after that. The contract calls for a completion date at the end of September.