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BE accepts $1.7M bid for Main Street

By Staff | May 8, 2016

It is definitely a go.

The Blue Earth City Council accepted the low bid for the construction work on Main and Sixth streets this summer.

The bid was for $1,736,368 and came from Holtmeier Construction. The bid was nearly $300,000 lower than the engineer’s estimate of $2 million.

Of the total bid amount, not all of it will be the responsibility of the city.

“The amount for the city of Blue Earth and Blue Earth Light and Water is $1,048, 521,” city engineer Wes Brown said. “The rest is the responsibility of the state and county.”

Blue Earth Light and Water will pick up about $390,000 of the cost, with the remaining approximately $700,000 coming from the city.

“All of the work on Sixth Street is our cost,” city administrator Tim Ibisch said. “It is not covered by the state and county because it is a city street and not a county/state aid highway like Main Street is.”

Engineer Brown said the contractor may be starting earlier than the previous June 1 date; sometime around the latter part of May.

In other business at their meeting last Monday night, the council spent part of the work session once again discussing the golf cart ordinance.

“We have a new version for tonight,” Ibisch told the council. “I think it is less restrictive and follows what the council expressed as changes last meeting.”

However, the city administrator said it follows the state statute regarding golf cart usage, which includes city permits, insurance required, and following all traffic laws.

“We can be more restrictive than the state, but we can’t be less restrictive,” Ibisch said. “This is as open as we can be. The state requires us to have an ordinance and this is the bare minimum.”

The council unanimously passed the ordinance later in the evening during the regular meeting time.

“It will become effective 30 days after we publish it in the newspaper,” Ibisch said.

In other business on Monday, the council:

Gave an OK to the Blue Earth Community Foundation to pursue working with the Soil and Water Conservation District office to possibly create a butterfly/rain garden on a lot at the corner of Sixth and Main.

Discussed the possibility of developing a parking lot where the former Avalon Center had been located on Main Street. They instructed staff to continue to work on plans for the lot.

Passed a motion to hire Mosquito Control of Iowa to spray the city for mosquitos this summer. The cost will be $15,250.

Voted to spend $2,943 for a siren control system so that the city can activate the siren from the Public Safety Center, as well as it being activated from the county law enforcement center.

Learned there was a mock up of a new Welcome to Blue Earth sign on Highway 169, and agreed that if everyone looked at it and no one had any objections, the real sign would be ordered.

Authorized the hiring of two new public works employees, Steve Sonnicksen and Ryan Vereide, pending background checks.