The Manchester City Council might be paying approximately $100,000 more than it expected for one of the major road projects expected to descend upon a good majority of town this summer.
The bid letting for the 2020 Highway 13 Improvement Project occurred Jan. 22 and the three bids the DOT received all came in over the engineer’s estimate of $3,599,929 — Pirc-Tobin Construction had the low bid of $3,708,772, followed by Midwest Concrete, Inc. with $3,983,266 and Tschiggfrie Excavating Company’s $4,283,594.
The council will hold a public hearing and potentially award the contract Feb. 10.
Ryan Wicks, of engineering firm Fehr Graham, said they’ve reviewed the bids and found there was quite a bit of variation in the unit prices, including what the companies thought traffic signaling would cost.
City staff estimates the Iowa DOT will pick up $1,896,651 of the project’s costs along with $1.2 million in swap funding with the remainder being paid for by the city itself.
The council also approved the purchase of a new control computer for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, which recently suffered the “blue screen of death” and died.
Wastewater Superintendent Perry Peterson said this is the computer that controls the entire plant, including all the alarms and all the lift stations that are tied back to the plant through radio. In the meantime, there is another computer that is keeping everything running.
“The vast majority of the cost is the software,” Peterson said of the proposed $33,800 replacement quote.
While computer engineers are on-site installing the new system, Peterson said they will be able to add the ability to control a potential future lift station, saving on labor costs in the future. The current estimated cost for labor, including travel expenses, accounts for $8,500 of the total cost, which Peterson believes will be adjusted down when all is said and done.The council had budgeted to replace this computer in the next fiscal year, but Peterson said, unfortunately, the computer just couldn’t hold on that long.
Peterson said all the necessary equipment could be in within the next 30 days.
In other news, the council:
• Heard from Eric Johnson, of Kirkham Michael, that there were no issues found during the environmental assessment of the Manchester Municipal Airport. The approximately 400-page study, which could facilitate future land acquisition and expansion of the airport, will be available for viewing at City Hall and the library.
• Approved the preliminary and final plat of the West Brook Addition Phase 1. The subdivision, which is located at 1000 West Marion Street, will create three lots. Recently, developer Wes Schulte built a 16-unit apartment building in the area, and as part of the next phase of his plan, he could be building a mirror-image additional 16-unit building in the adjacent lot.