Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2007

City council approves Streetscape project bid

April 5, 2007

Baldwin City Council members took the first real step toward making the Downtown Streetscape project a reality when they approved the low bid of $1.8 million during Monday's meeting.

"We got five good quality bids, including the low bidder," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman.

The low bidder was Bryant and Bryant of Halstead, which submitted a bid of $1.815,222 on the project to replace sidewalks, install new streets lamps and increase handicap accessibility, among other improvements.

"What other hurdles does this have to clear?" Mayor Gary Walbridge asked in addition to the council approving the bid.

Dingman said it would be getting a contract settled with Bryant and Bryant and sending it to the Kansas Department of Transportation, which is footing 80 percent of most of bill, for approval.

"The sooner we have a notice to proceed the better," said Dingman.

Council President Amy Cleavinger asked if arrangements had been made to work around the Maple Leaf Festival Oct. 20-21, which had been a problem in the past as well as the number of days for construction.

"So far, we've told them they have to," Dingman said of working around the festival, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

Walbridge then asked if the council wanted to approve the bid or sit on it.

"We've been sitting long enough," said Cleavinger.

"We need to move," said Council Member Tony Brown.

The bid was approved 4-0. Council Member Doyle Jardon was absent.

When the project was bid the last two times, only one bid was made and it was well over the engineer's estimated cost. The project was scaled back and Cleavinger asked Dingman what those changes included.

He said the Veteran's Memorial and Chamber of Commerce park alternatives were removed; also removed were decorative wall elements in some areas; reduced the "fanciness" of the ornamental iron fence to match the Women's Bridge project currently underway; removed some concrete work in the Chamber plaza area, deferring to the Chamber's fountain project to commemorate Baker University's 150th anniversary; and removed the huge concrete planters from the intersections and using the ones already in place. There were other changes, but those are the most notable.

Utility director Bill Winegar was asked his opinion on the bids.

"I think overall it's fine," said Winegar. "I'm pleased it came in that low."

Bryant and Bryant's bid of $1.8 million was $850,000 lower than the only bid the city received in February. The other four bids were all over $2 million, including one that was nearly $2.7 million.

The project was originally estimated to cost $1.2 million in 2004. When the project was put out for bids the first time in May of 2006, the cost had been adjusted to $1.6 million and KDOT was aware of that figure, Dingman said.

Dingman said the total cost to the city will be approximately $557,635. That includes replacing waterlines ($190,000) in the downtown area and the purchase of property ($90,000), which are separate from the Streetscape project.

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