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Bemidji City Park work is awarded to Kimley-Horn

Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. has been hired to oversee reconstruction of Bemidji City Park.

The Bemidji City Council unanimously approved the contract during its regular meeting Monday night.

Kimley-Horn, with a bid of $392,800, will finalize the design of the project, prepare bidding and construction documents, bid the project and provide construction services and close-out services.

The Parks and Trails Commission recommended the firm over four others that submitted proposals.

"Our decision was based on some key points, and we felt Kimley-Horn had a much better resume for what we are looking at doing," said Dave Smith, the chair of the Parks and Trails Commission.

Four companies responded to the city's Request for Proposals for City Park work:

- Brauer and Associates/Freeburg and Grund for $352,173.

- Kimley-Horn for $392,800.

- Karvakko Engineering for $402,000.

- Widseth Smith Nolting for $501,187.

A selection committee composed of two City Council members, four Parks and Trails Commission members, a skate park representative and two staff members interviewed two firms as finalists: Kimley-Horn and Karvakko Engineering.

Councilor Greg Negard noted the cost difference between the low bidder, Brauer and Associates, and Kimley-Horn and asked Smith why the Parks and Trails Commission did not go with the low bidder.

"$40,000 is a quite a bit of money," Negard said.

Smith said that Brauer and Associates did the work at Diamond Point Park and there were "issues" with parts of the work that had been done, including needing to install utility work after concrete was installed and the initial lack of changing tables in the bathrooms.

"I don't think they were at the site as much as we expected them to be," said Councilor Jerry Downs, who also serves on the Parks and Trails Commission.

Councilor Kevin Waldhausen also noted that the inclusion of Site Design Group Inc. of California, which has experience in skate park plaza design, also elevated Kimley-Horn's proposal.

BREC bid

The council voted 6-1 to approve a $74,999 quote for resinous flooring from Advantage Coating Inc. out of Chaska, Minn. It was the lowest bid of four received.

Councilor Barb Meuers was opposed; Meuers has consistently voted against bids for the BREC.

Public hearing

The City Council set June 15 as the date to hold a public hearing on the proposed road reconstruction and changes for state Highway 197 and U.S. Highway 71 on the south end of town.

MnDOT has proposed that Highway 197, running south from Lueken's Village Foods South to U.S. Highway 71, will be reconstructed to have two driving lanes in each direction and a center left-turn lane.

North of U.S. Highway 2, the road would become a divided four-lane highway.

A new bridge has been proposed for crossing over Highway 2. Northbound traffic on Highway 71 would utilize the new bridge while southbound traffic would continue to use the existing bridge, which would be rehabilitated.

The divided four-lane highway would continue south of the Beltrami/Hubbard county line and become a two-lane road. A center turn lane is planned about one mile north of Hubbard County Road 9 (the Nary road) and would continue throughout the duration of that intersection.