BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – What was projected to be a $1.87 million project to rehab the city water facility on Denmark Hill has been whittled down to a $1.42 million project.
The project has a base cost of $1.3 million but city officials added about $115,000 in additional bid options including a one year anniversary inspection and an 8″ French drain around the base of the tank to help surface water runoff.
At Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting, the council voted 6-0, in favor of the motion.
A report from HR Green, Inc, the city’s consultant on the project, indicated they had a final cost opinion of $1.877 million and seven bids were received for the work, but after several were sent back with math errors, the lowest responsible bid came from Utility Services Co., Inc. out of Perry, Ga.
I would assume that would start this May,” said Larry Driscoll, the city’s public works director.
“The original plan was to be $1.7 million. We did eliminate some of the alternatives to get as low as we could. We’re gonna have a meeting with the contractor to get everything signed and talk about doing some more cost reduction, but it turned out good.”
Councilman Rusty Andrews asked about resurfacing the drive, at a cost of $800, but Driscoll said the city worried about abuse to what was there and then getting stuck with the cost of redoing the road.
Andrews also asked if it was a good idea to put a $2,400 logo on the tower that isn’t very visible.
“I love the idea of branding on it,” he said. “I just wonder if you’re going to be able to see it. But in a $1.5 million project, $2,400 isn’t that much.
Driscoll said the alternative could still be pulled from the bid.
City Manager David Varley said he thought it would be appropriate to have an identifier as people come into the town.
“How about we come back with some options to scale on that and put it on there so you can look at and have an idea what it will look like and you decide if you want to put it on. It’s kind of hard if you don’t have something to look at,” he said.
City Councilman Bob Morawitz asked if any Iowa contractors were considered for the bid. Driscoll said it was bid according to laws and no Iowa firms bid on the work. However, some area contractors are listed as vendors on the work.
In other action, the council:
•voted 6-0 to approve a subdivision plat of survey and waiver for Virginia Walker for property located at 2096 180th Street.
•voted 6-0 to approve Corey Fraise and Larry Wright to the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission with terms expiring March 31, 2021.
•heard Mayor Brad Randolph read a proclamation setting April 3 as Fort Madison Employee Appreciation Day.