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BE accepts $1.5 million project bid

By Staff | Apr 7, 2019

Blue Earth’s summer street project is officially a go, as the City Council accepted the lowest of four bids during their meeting last Monday night.

Holtmeier Construction of Mankato was awarded the contract to do what is officially known as the North Sailor Street Improvements Project – 2019.

Their bid was for $1.498 million for the main work, plus $38,629 for an alternate mill and overlay work on some of the side streets.

The next lowest bid was $1.578 million and $42,504 for the alternate work.

The engineer’s estimate had been $1.637 million for the project plus $53,550 for the bid alternate.

The council was informed that construction on the work will be starting in June.

The street project was not the only funding expenditures authorized by the council during last night’s meeting.

The council also said OK for paying a bill from the law firm of Everett & VanderWiel in the amount of $18,128.36.

The statement was for the work of conducting the investigation into a complaint against Blue Earth Police officer Chad Bonin.

After the investigation report was received by the City Council last month, the city and Bonin agreed to ending his contract with the city of Blue Earth.

The investigation report has not been made public at this time.

One other expense authorized on Monday night was for a continuing community marketing proposal from the Otto Media Group of Mankato.

The council voted to allow up to $5,000 for additional work by OMG, which has included a new website design for the city of Blue Earth.

The request had been for up to $10,000, with the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), also putting in up to $5,000.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord questioned the need for the city to put in another $10,000, and thought they should see what other groups are also investing. Other council members agreed to drop the amount to the up to $5,000 level at this time.

The monies would be taken from the liquor store fund.

Other local organizations in the city have also been contributing to the cost of funding this community marketing proposal, which began about two years ago.

In other items at the short meeting, the council:

Did not take any action on a proposed ordinance to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products in the city. The council decided to wait and see if the Minnesota Legislature would be taking any action this session on the matter before taking action on their own.

They also did not take any action at this time concerning limiting the use of drones inside the city limits or on city property.

A letter to the council from Public Works supervisor Jamie Holland outlined there has been a couple of issues with drones at the city-owned campground and city parks and at Giant Park reported.

The council questioned what the rules concerning drones are, and what exactly they can and can not do about drone usage in the city.

They decided to not do anything at this time, unless it becomes a bigger problem.

Discussed an agreement with Blue Earth Light and Water (BELW), but postponed action on it.

The agreement would have BELW take over the expense of the electricity for all the street lights in town, while the city would increase its payment to BELW for sending out the utility bills each month.

Heard a report from economic development specialist Mary Kennedy concerning the REV program and its current projects.

Heard the mayor read a proclamation from Human Services of Faribault County officially marking April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Blue Earth.

Learned the Brush Site will open up to the public starting Saturday, April 6. It will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community gardens on 14th Street will also be ready by the first week in May.

Also learned the new pool slide was approved by the Minnesota Department of Health, and the city is expecting it to be installed by the start of this summer’s pool season.