Commissioners OK $398K deal for parks

By Burk Krohe

City commissioners unanimously approved a construction contract with a local firm for work in the north end redevelopment area at Tuesday’s meeting.

There was little discussion as commissioners approved the $398,500 contract with Schultz Construction for the construction of two “pocket parks.” The small greenspaces are located along Osage street between 3rd and 4th streets and along 3rd Street between Osage and Leavenworth streets. The contracts also include work for street renovation on 4th Street and streetscaping along 3rd Street.

Jason Hilgers, assistant city manager, noted the city originally entered into a construction contract with Tribal Construction, which submitted a low bid of $397,563, below the architect’s estimate of $583,085, in October for the pocket parks.

On Nov. 6, 2011, Strasser Village, the apartment complex at the corner of 4th and Leavenworth streets, burned down. The fire delayed the construction of the pocket parks and also caused some damage along 4th Street. Hilgers said after the fire, the city worked with Tribal to reduce the scope of the project to concrete work along 3rd Street with the understanding the city would have to go out for bid again. The firm was compensated $111,199 of its initial contract for the work.

“We received a low proposal from Schultz construction, which in my opinion is to our advantage given the adjacency and given the scheduling and coordination it will take to get this project done,” Hilgers said. 

Hilgers said the city added renovation work along 4th Street, including replacement of a light, some sidewalk and some curb, and streetscaping along the east side of 3rd Street to the initial scope of the project because of the fire.

Commissioner Jim Sherow said it seemed like a bargain, considering the architect’s estimate at the start of the project.

In addition to the construction contract there is an engineering agreement for construction observation and re-design with Alfred Benesch and Company for $31,510. It brings the total of both contracts to $430,010.

Hilgers said financing for the contracts will come from a balance of TIF funds originally issued at $950,000. After paying for design, engineering, Tribal’s work and the contracts with Schultz and Benesch there will be $135,969 of the $950,000 remaining. The excess funds will be dedicated toward the retirement of TIF A and B bonds.

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