Industrial Lane project bids opened by Blackduck Council

Two engineering technicians from Widseth Smith Nolting appeared before the Blackduck City Council Aug. 8 to give them an update on the Industrial Lane project.

Steve Pemble, left, an engineering tech from Widseth Smith Nolting, explains to the Blackduck City Council about changes that could be made to the Industrial Lane project as Steve Cochems from Anderson Fabrics, takes notes on the changes and how those changes will affect his business.

Two engineering technicians from Widseth Smith Nolting appeared before the Blackduck City Council Aug. 8 to give them an update on the Industrial Lane project.

Steve Pemble and Benji Hofstad from WSN reviewed the bid tabulations with the council before going over the two bids that were submitted for the Industrial Lane street project.

Pemble began with the bid openings, which had been done in the morning.

There were only two bids submitted -- one from Knife River Materials for a total bid of $188,647.99 and the other from Gerit Hanson Construction for $163,804.37. The bid was awarded to Hanson.

These two bids were only for construction costs and did not include contingencies, the preliminary survey, design or construction administration, staking and inspection for a total of $39,094.35.


The cost project cost came to $202,848.72, minus the $77,215 grant the city obtained, leaving the project costs at $125,686.72, according to City Administrator Karin Elhard.

Elhard explained to the council about the estimated special assessments on the properties along Industrial Lane, the majority of which are owned by Anderson Fabrics.

"I've broken it down for you," she began. "If we take subtract the contingencies and the grant, we come up with a total for the project at $111,464.63, however, if you look at the 10 year assessments for each of the lots on the street, it exceeds the benefit range of each lot. We just can't do that," she said.

Councilmember Daryl Lundberg asked Steve Cochems from Anderson Fabrics what his take on the discussion was.

"I'm confused. This morning when we opened up bids it was $163,804 and now it's $202,898. You guys should have seen this morning when I wasn't upset, that I didn't understand."

It was then explained to him, how the numbers had changed and why to that he understood better.

"When I think of the project contingencies," Elhard said, "there's not much guessing. The underground work is a kind of a 'what you see is what you get' type of thing."

"So is it realistic to take out that $14,000 in contingencies?


she asked.

She also went on to explain that she and City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug Jr. sat down and looked at the line items on the estimate and came up with another $17,000 in savings that could be done.

Pemble was questioned as to why asphalt was so high. He told the council that he wasn't really sure as to why the prices were all over the board but he thought it may be due to the fact that they had no plant in the area and that the material would have to be hauled in for the project.

The council discussed various options before finally coming to the conclusion that it would be more beneficial meet with City Engineer Curt Meyer concerning the project and what options are available.

It was decided to meet with Meyers Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. to go over the bid and project estimate. Due to this meeting, the item was tabled until the Aug. 15. meeting.

Andy Thienes, president of the Blackduck Fire Relief Association came before the council to go over the pension plan for the fire department.

"Our fund us 90-95 percent funded and we are very healthy compared to some," Thienes said.

Thienes was thanked by the council for his report before they moved on to review the distribution of the proposed 2012 general fund budget and a preliminary discussion of Blackduck's comprehensive plan.


It was decided to move the Sept. 6 regular council meeting to 6 p.m. Sept. 12 due to the Labor Day holiday.

A report from the revolving loan fund committee was then heard.

At a July 20 meeting, Matt Sparby of MAK Property met with the fund committee members.

Sparby informed the committee that Blackduck Hardware Store was now closed and it had liquidated most of the inventory and is now pursuing a buyer for the building.

Currently, the MAK Property is two months behind of payments to the city. The loan had been deferred for six month, which ended May 31.

The committee offered Sparby an additional 12 months of deferred payments.

The committee then recommended the deferment to the council for one year, ending May 31, 2012. The recommendation was then approved.

Last on the agenda were two resolutions concerning the vacant council position.

The resolution to accept Nayda Cheney's resignation and declare her seat vacant was approved however, the resolution appointing a person to fill her vacancy was tabled until the Sept. 12 meeting.

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