Bids for Elko street work come in over estimate

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

At its Thursday, Aug. 10, meeting the Elko-New Market Consolidated City Council unanimously approved a bid for its 2006 street and utility improvement project for Elko, despite it coming in over the estimated price.

Ryan Contracting had a bid of $448,136 and was awarded the project. Mark Kasma of Bolton & Menk, Inc., the engineering firm that serves the two cities east of New Prague, said of the five bids received the Shakopee firm's was the lowest. The bid was $49,546, or 12.4 percent, over the engineer's estimate of $398,590.

Four streets are to be done, with improvements to include complete reconstruction of the roadways, watermain installation, construction of storm sewer and bituminous pathway and turf restoration. The project is scheduled to begin around August 21.

Kasma said that reasons for the prices being higher than estimated is likely due to the rise in gas prices. There is significant trucking and hauling that needs to be done and bituminous paving has also seen a price increase.

Re-bidding of the project, without changing the improvements, isn't expected to come up with lower bids. With fuel prices continuing to rise, bids could come in higher.

To help pay for the project the city was asked to issue bonds. The council unanimously approved the bonds for the project.

Firehouse Pizza

The council approved a change to the new Firehouse Pizza being built by Robert Hanna on the west side of New Market.

City Administrator Tom Terry said that Hanna was asking to make a change to the restaurant currently being built which is scheduled to open later this summer. He wanted to make an addition that would be used for the storage of equipment and seasonal decorations. Hanna had presented this to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which felt it would need a public hearing.

The council was asked if this was a significant change to the Planned Unit Development (PUD) and would require a public hearing.

Also discussed was the payment for the road that would serve Hanna's business and a housing development, being built by Paul Wagner. According to an agreement between the two, Wagner will cover the majority of the payment for the street work. Wagner was not present at the meeting to confirm the agreement.

The council approved by a 7-2 vote a motion that the addition to the building was a non-substantial change to the PUD and approval be given dependent on either a payment toward the roadwork or a letter citing that Wagner was paying the majority of work on the road. Council members Dave Tompos and Tom Michaud voted no on the motion.

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