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Sailor Street bid at $2.28M

By Staff | Apr 26, 2020

Detour and other construction signs, at left, are ready to go into place for the Sailor Street project.

During their meeting last Monday night the Blue Earth City Council approved the low bid for one of the two street improvement projects planned for this summer.

While one project involves Leland Parkway and is being done in conjunction with the county, the other one is strictly a city venture. The project is known as the 2020 Sailor Street Improvement Project, but also includes some work in other areas of the city.

The low bid came from Dirt Merchant, Inc., of Mankato, and was a total of $2,282,702.

Their bid was $2,029,023 for the work on Sailor Street, which is from Third to Seventh streets, as well as Fourth and Sixth streets from Grove to East streets.

They also bid on Alternate A which is an overlay on Ramsey Street from Sixth to Seventh streets and on Bartels Drive. That bid was $45,767.

The bid on Alternate B was $207,912. That work would be reconstruction and new paving of the parking lot areas behind City Hall, the library and the American Legion Hall.

The council voted to accept all three bids from Dirt Merchant, which together was $206,387.50 lower than the engineers’ estimates for the cost of the projects.

The only other bid was from Minnesota Paving & Materials of Mankato, which totaled $2,500,108.36 for the base bid and the two alternate bids combined.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord questioned the extent of the City Hall parking lot area of the project.

“When did this become so involved?” he asked. “I thought we were looking at a mill and overlay of the parking lot areas, at a cost of around $186,000. Now it is up over $200,000.”

City engineer Wes Brown of Bolton & Menk, said it made sense to take care of a lot of subsurface and drainage issues as long as the parking lots were going to be done.

“The overall cost of the project is still more than $200,000 under the estimate,” Brown said. “Even with the increase in cost to the parking lot areas.”

Councilman Dan Warner asked about the schedule for the work.

“They (the contractor) have a very aggressive schedule,” Brown answered. “They could start as early as next week on the Sailor Street portion.”

In other business at the meeting, the council:

Held three public hearings and then voted to approve a variance request for a townhouse on Eighth and Rice streets being built by the city’s Housing and Rehabilitation Authority (HRA), a fence in a backyard on property owned by Christian Obanion on South Galbraith Street, and splitting a lot into two parcels which are currently owned by Kriewall Oil Company.

Agreed to increase the amount for installation costs of new items at Giant Park from $3,000 to up to $5,000. Those items include large musical instruments, an information kiosk, a bike repair station and bicycle racks.

Heard the annual audit report for the Blue Earth Light & Water (BELW) Department. Part of the BELW charter requires the audit report be given to the City Council each year.

Discussed the possibility of having a campground host at the city’s campground located at the city-owned fairgrounds park. The duties would be to collect payments, answer questions and clean restrooms at the fairgrounds and elsewhere. No action was taken.

Spent their work session time before the regular meeting listening to a report from a bee expert on the pluses and possible issues of people keeping bees in yards in Blue Earth. Again, no action was taken.

Did say OK to the very first request from a resident for a permit to have chickens in their yard. The request came from Corey and Stephanie Walter.

However, the permit request sparked a question from the council as to whether the owner of the original chicken coop in town, which was the cause for the creation of the ordinance dealing with chickens, had come in to get a permit.

The answer was no, so the council instructed the city staff to contact that person and inform them they needed a permit, or to get rid of their chickens.