Downtown street improvement project bids high; accepted by City Council

A special meeting of the Philip City Council was held on Thursday, February 9, to review and possibly award bids for the 2006 Downtown Street Improvement Project.

Harlan Quenzer, accompanied by Sam Hohn, both with SPN and Assoc., presented the bids received for the street and utility improvements.

Hills Material Co. - $669,615

Simon Contracting - $711,888

Site Work Specialists - $715,602

Bituminous Paving - $787,842

Shovel Head Excav. - $876,565

All of the bids were above the engineer’s estimated cost of $500,943. The engineer’s estimate was low “across the board” on most of the line items. The engineer’s figures were a year old and had not been updated to current prices, especially on petroleum products, steel, concrete and asphalt. It was reported that the 2005 allocations for concrete had strict quota limitations as will the 2006 concrete allocations.

Quenzer then presented the three received bids for the sanitary sewer lining:

Visu Sewer Cleaning - $64,890

Insitu Form - $65,675

Veit and Company - $74,298

Two of the bids were below the engineer’s estimate of $71,632.

The total of the low bids for each project were $143,397 above the engineer’s estimates. Quenzer will be meeting with the S.D. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to ascertain the exact amount of eligible costs that will be funded through both of these programs.

Special assessment notices were previously sent to property owners based only on the engineer’s estimated costs, which are below the actual bid costs. The property owners will be notified of the actual costs.

The council had budgeted approximately $56,000 to have asphalt put on Ash Street. The council, for the present, might deny this request in order to use the money to help fund the downtown street improvement project.

The S.D. Community Foundation Grant application, requesting $87,899, was submitted this week requesting additional funding to assist in the street lighting portion of the project.

The council may consider other options; for example, cutting parts of the proposed project improvement areas such as the street lighting and/or striping, which are additions to the original proposed project.

It was recommended that the council award the bids contingent upon a review and approval of the bid by GOED, DENR and S.D. Dept. of Transportation (DOT). These agencies will not review the actual bids for the complete project if the city does not do so. Once these agencies review the bid, the city will know exactly what will be considered as eligible costs. Hopefully, the city will be allowed to utilize more of the money originally awarded to this project.

The city may not “double dip” and use more than one fund for the same line item on the project’s costs, according to state regulations for funding projects.

The City Council and the community have been committed to this project and, in Mayor John Hart’s opinion, it is important that the city completes the project. He recommended the council award the bids and allow DOT, DENR and GOED to review the project costs.

Motion was made to award the Downtown Street and Utility Improvement Project to the low bidder of Hills Material Co., and the Sanitary Sewer Lining to the low bidder of Visu Sewer Cleaning, contingent upon DOT, DENR and GOED’s funding approval, as well as the city identifying local sources of additional funding if required. The motion was unanimously carried.

A special meeting will be called following the review by the DOT, DENR and GOED.

Motion was made and carried to authorize Finance Officer Monna Van Lint to open a construction checking account for the Downtown Street Improvement Project.

In other business, the City of Philip will reimburse the city’s special revenue fund (2nd cent sales tax) the sum of $7,064, from the city’s general fund.