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Apparent low bid just under $4 million

By Staff | Mar 4, 2009

Project engineers for the city’s planned District 1-2009 street improvement district opened four bids during the Rugby City Council’s March 2 meeting, and the apparent low bid was received from Bituminous Paving of Ortonville, Minn., totaling just under $4 million.

Bituminous’ bid included a base of $3.1 million and four alternate projects,that included curb and gutter work, totaling just over $875,000.

Keller Paving of Minot; Mayo Construction of Cavalier; and Strata Corporation of Grand Forks also bid but were significantly higher.

Engineers from Advanced Engineering, Grand Forks, spent two days following the bid opening reviewing the bids to ensure the figures were correct, and looking at the price comparisons in terms of the base and alternate projects.

A special council meeting planned for Thursday, March 5 engineers will give a recommendation to the council on whether to award a contract to the low bidder. The city has 60 days to reject any and all bids. The project estimate was around $5 million.

Following the bid opening, the Rugby City Council discussed setting aside future infrastructure and maintenance funds toward the planned street improvements to lessen the burden on property owners through special assessments.

Gerry Jacobson, Ward Two councilman, suggested around $1 million be earmarked in future years toward the project. The city receives an estimated $130,000 annually in collections from the city’s sales tax as well as an infrastructure fee of around $4 added to water service bills. Jacobson stressed the intent is not to deplete the fund, noting needs will undoubtedly pop up, but to set aside a sizable contribution to the street project.

Terry Wentz, Ward Four councilman, would like to ensure there are infrastructure maintenance funds available in eight to 10 years to cover the costs of a seal coat, enabling the maintenance work to be done without going back to residents. And Steve Brossart, Ward One councilman, added there need to be funds to address regular maintenance work on streets to stretch out the life of the improvements.

The council did not take any action on whether to set aside infrastructure funds. The issue will be brought up at a future meeting.

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