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Bids for building demo at $21,000

By Staff | Jan 11, 2015

The Blue Earth City Council moved one step closer to demolishing a hazardous building in the city’s downtown area.

The council learned they had two bids for the demolition work to consider and they voted to tentatively accept the lower bid.

The building, known as the former Ankeny Radiator Shop, is located directly across the street from where the council was meeting last Monday night, in the Blue Earth City Hall.

The roof of the abandoned building is already starting to collapse.

Both of the bids Monday night came in two parts. One part was for the demolition itself, while the second part was for the cost of shoring up and reinforcing the wall of one of the adjacent buildings, owned and occupied by Spencer, Barke & Viesselman Attorneys.

The first bid considered was from Beemer Companies of Fairmont. They bid $18,639 for the demolition and $11,800 for the shoring up of the wall, for a total of $30,439.

The other bid came from G&S Drainage and Excavating of Blue Earth and United Builders of Blue Earth.

G&S submitted a bid of $7,680 for the demolition portion of the work, with United Builders having a bid of $13,500 for the wall shoring portion. That totals $21,180.

The council accepted the lower bid and instructed city administrator Tim Ibisch to work on the contract with the two businesses.

Ibisch will also discuss funding the project with both the county and the owners of the one adjacent building.

The County Board, which actually owns the building due to a tax forfeiture situation, had previously agreed to pay half the cost of demolition, up to $10,000.

Members of the council also wanted Ibisch to see if the county and the law office building owners would be paying for part of shoring up and reinforcement of the wall.

Ibisch said the law firm would be responsible for any additional finishing work on the wall.

“I think the most the city will have to pay for this project is a maximum of $11,000,” he said. “But I anticipate it could be less.”

Councilman Glenn Gaylord wanted to know who would be liable should something go wrong with the demolition or wall reinforcement work.

“The county owns the building and the contractors will have to be bonded,” city attorney David Frundt said. “That can be part of the contract.”

Gaylord also questioned why, if the county owns the building, the city was getting involved.

“The county has an obligation to tear it down,” Frundt says. “In the past, they have done so in cooperation with the local cities. The city wants it removed because it is a public safety issue and affects the look of downtown.”

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council passed a resolution to proceed with a street and utility project this year, although the exact scope of the project may be changed later.

The project will affect blocks of Smith Drive, Moore Street, Circle Drive, Tanglewood Lane, Oak Knoll Court and Meadow Lane.

The project is broken into three parts.

One will involve both underground and utility work on Smith Drive, Moore Street and Circle Drive at an estimated cost of $1.259 million. Another covers one additional block of street and utility work on North Circle Drive at a cost of $321,000 and the third part is mill and overlay for Meadow Lane, Oak Knoll Court and Tanglewood Lane at a cost of $217,000 for a total of $1.797 million.

Members of the council questioned doing all three parts of the project this year.

“You can decide at the next meeting to do one, two or all three parts of the project,” Ibisch told the council. “But we need to pass the resolution tonight if we are going to proceed with it this year.”

The reason, he said, is because a public hearing on the project needs to be held on Monday, Feb. 2, at 5:05 p.m. at the Public Safety Center.

“Otherwise, we will not be able to keep on schedule to get the work done this summer,” Ibisch added.

The council passed the resolution, but decided to have a Street Committee meeting before the next council meeting to further discuss how much of the work to do this year.