Downtown improvement project put on hold
For those concerned about the downtown street enhancement project disrupting plans for this summer and the Maple Leaf Festival, relax. It's not going to happen ... this year.
Alan Luttrell of EBH and Associates, the engineering firm overseeing the project, told Baldwin City Council members at Monday's meeting that the number of bidders for the $1.2 million project was less than expected and the lone bid that came in was unacceptable.
"The reality of it is, it was an unacceptable bid," said Luttrell. "People got so busy, they couldn't find subcontractors. What I would recommend is go ahead and delay this thing. Let it out for bids again next fall and construction next year.
"I know we all wanted to get it going, but it didn't happen," he said.
Delays in the project being let out for bids were the main culprit, he said. Originally, the bids were to be let after the first of the year and construction to start in March. However, the bids were not put out until May. Originally, bids were due by May 24, but that was extended to Monday. The lone bid was unacceptable.
Council members were concerned that by not going ahead with the project, the 80 percent matching grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation would be lost. However, Jeff Dingman, city administrator, assured them that wasn't the case. The grant is good for the 2006-2007 year, so the new time line still works.
The Signal will have more on this story in Thursday's regular edition.