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More BE projects planned

By Staff | Jul 22, 2016

The Blue Earth City Council discussed a wide variety of possible projects during both their work session and regular meeting held last Monday night.

The proposed projects include bathrooms in the Senior Center, remodeling at the library, rebuilding a baseball field and a new entrance at City Hall .

While the discussions went over each of the items, the main concern by the council was generally how to fund all the requests without busting the budget.

Here is a rundown on each of the projects under discussion:

Bathrooms in the Senior Center.

The request for funding remodeling of the restrooms in the center came last month and the council requested some firm quotes.

Two quotes were received for the work, with one at $11,537 and the other at $13,000, both from Blue Earth contractors.

The lower bid was at $6,226.50 for the mens’ restroom and $5,310.50 for the ladies.The council discussed having only one toilet in each restroom and saving some money that way. Currently the men’s has a toilet and a urinal and the ladies has two toilets.

Council members and the mayor suggested lockable, single-user restrooms both unisex could be the way to go. They decided to get updated numbers before making a decision.

Library remodeling.

This project is to remove a wall in the back of the library and open up space into a back meeting room.

The total cost of the project is projected to be $4,595 and the library board was asking the city to fund $1,500 of it. The council voted to do so.

Baseball field.

The council learned of a proposal to rebuild the high school varsity baseball field at the city-owned fairgrounds.

The Blue Earth Baseball Association received a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Twins. They have plans or new bleachers and a press box area behind home plate.

A bid from the Iowa Athletic Field Construction Company was for $60,140 to rebuild the field and the association was asking the city for $51,000.

While the council had a positive reaction to the project, they suggested trying for bids from a local firm.

City Hall entrance.

The council had planned on building a handicap accessible ramp and new landscaping in the front of the City Hall, but a quote to build the ramp came in at $42,000 and has them pausing in the decision to proceed.

City administrator Tim Ibisch suggested the back door to the City Hall is handicap accessible and maybe the $42,000 could be better spent doing something like repaving the back parking lot.

The council decided to continue to explore more options with what to do with the front landscaping.