It's a done deal.
At a special meeting on Wednesday evening, the Blue Earth City Council said OK to an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation spelling out details of the Highway 169 reconstruction project slated for this summer.
"This is version three of the agreement," city engineer Wes Brown told the council. "We recommend it to be signed."
The cost to the city of Blue Earth and Blue Earth Light and Water had dropped $190,000 from a previous version.
"The version last Monday was at $1.843 million local cost," Brown says. "This one is at $1.652 million."
The local share for street paving was at $454,120. But, Brown says MnDOT is crediting back $75,000 of that amount for its share of work on Third Street.
"We had asked for a $55,000 credit, so they are being very generous," he told the council.
Likewise for MnDOT's share of work on First Street. The city was expecting $45,000 but the state is crediting back $65,000. "However," Brown says. "The extra $20,000 is for lowering our share of construction/engineering costs."
Light and Water is also getting some credited amounts.
"Lighting in the Highway 169 corridor itself is slated to cost $259,000," Brown says. "But MnDOT is now crediting $80,000 back to Light and Water. And for the lighting on the roundabouts, they are charging us (Light and Water) $25,000 only because of the style of lights that were chosen."
Brown says that MnDOT was scheduled to hold the bid opening this past Friday, April 26. It will take some time, he says, to do all the calculations necessary to determine how much each one is and who will be awarded the bids.
"Will MnDOT still credit these same amounts in the contract even if the bids come in lower than expected?" asked Mayor Rick Scholtes, and Brown answered yes.
"But if the bids come in higher, they won't increase those credit amounts, either," he added. "It works both ways."
Councilman Russ Erichsrud wondered when construction would be starting.
"Just as soon as they possibly can, I would think," Brown answered.