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Airport building approved

By Staff | May 7, 2017

After nearly a year delay and no construction start date yet set the Blue Earth City Council voted yes to accept a bid for the construction of a new Snow Removal Equipment (SRE) building at the Blue Earth Municipal Airport.

Last year the council had denied a bid for the construction of the building because the one bid was deemed too high. It was close to $400,000.

This year, the council received three bids and accepted the low bid of $323,500 from Ankeny Builders, Inc., of Blue Earth. That is for the construction cost, but the total will be higher with engineering and other fees added in.

With the state and federal governments picking up the majority of the cost of the building, the city’s local share of the construction will be $26,236.

But, the motion to accept the low bid came with a contingency. Since the state and federal monies have not yet been allocated, the motion to proceed with the 46 x 54 foot building hinges on the city receiving those funds.

Currently the snow removal equipment is being housed in one of the airport hangars. There are 25 of those hangars at the airport which are leased out to area pilots. When the new building is constructed, the extra hangar will be quickly rented out, since there are three people on a waiting list to get a hangar.

The city had asked for bids for a smaller version of the SRE building, but because of what is eligible for state and federal funding, the smaller building would have cost the city $950 more for their share.

In other business last Monday, the council:

Once again discussed some blighted or hazardous homes, including one at 428 Nicollet Street, at 1030 E. Sixth Street and another at 126 Ninth Street West.

The council decided to proceed with either a letter or a misdemeanor citation or a public hearing on the matter in each of the cases.

Voted to accept an offer of $500 made by James Hammond of Iowa Falls, Iowa, to purchase and remove the large pipe organ in the upstairs former Masonic Lodge of one of the Three Sisters buildings in downtown Blue Earth.

Looked over a new RFP (request for proposals) concerning the Three Sisters buildings. It invites persons interested in owning one or more of the buildings to submit a proposal with what their plans would be for usage of the site.

The RFP is detailed in nature and is still being tweaked.

Also learned that no RFPs had been returned for the construction of new restrooms at the fairgrounds.

City administrator Tim Ibisch shared that the contractors replied it was too late in the season to begin such construction and have it done in time for the baseball season.

The council decided to look at the matter again at a future work session.

Granted permits to El Tio restaurant for a Cinco de Mayo celebration and to the baseball association to sell beer at Pirates games.