Posted on

Melvin awarded $1.6M for Spruce Street

Local contractor Francis Melvin, Inc. was awarded $1.6 million in contracts last week to reconfigure and resurface West Spruce Street in Abbotsford later this summer.

Construction is slated to get started next month on a two-part project that is designed to provide greater protections for pedestrians, replace storm sewers and resurface the thoroughfare.

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, run through the Wisconsin DOT, will provide $628,000 in federal funding to help pay for the safety improvements, and the Abbotsford School District is also contributing $78,500.

In addition, the state’s Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) will pay $442,150 toward the street and utility upgrades on West Spruce Street.

Melvin submitted the lowest of two bids on the two-part project, which included about $911,000 for the SRTS work and $680,500 for the resurfacing project.

All together, Melvin’s bids were about $400,000 less than the ones from the only other bidder, Haas Sons, Inc of Thorp.

DPW Craig Stuttgen said he feels like the city got a good price on the project, but it got “lucky” since there were only two contractors submitting bids.

Because of the difference in prices, if there had been one less bidder, he said nearly the entire LRIP grant from state would essentially have been wiped out.

“Two bidders is not a good situation,” he said. “You don’t want to be there.”

In the future, Stuttgen said the city needs to bid out its projects much earlier in the year to get make sure it gets the best possible bid price.

City administrator Dan Grady said the delay came from the state “dragging its feet” and not awarding the LRIP grants until May.

“Our choice was to either pay for the whole project without the grant or go for the grant,” he said. “It was a calculated risk either way.”

The council also approved a total of $158,100 in work to be done by MSA Professional Services, which includes $80,200 for administering the project, up to $70,900 for on-site construction observation and $7,000 for wage rate monitoring required for federal funding.

Stuttgen told the council that the owner of Strek-O Door had offered to buy the city’s old recycling building on North Fifth Street and would pay the city the building’s assessed value, $335,504.

The company would use part of the building for manufacturing, he said.

However, it was noted that the public works department and a couple community groups, including the Boy Scouts and the Christmas Parade, use portions of the building for storage. The police department also stores impounded vehicles in the building from time to time.

Stuttgen said public works itself does not need that big of a building to store its equipment and supplies, but he urged council members to get a look at what else is in the building.

Ald. Jim Weix said the Scouts keep two trailers and Christmas tree signs in the buildings, and they also store 85 to 100 Christmas trees there in the winter.

“I’m thinking there’s quite a few people using that building,” he said. “I’d just as soon keep it.”

Thecityhasneverchargedlocalgroups for storing items there, said Ald. Dale Rachu. He said the city had the building appraised at one time, but decided to keep it available for groups to use for storage.

“I think it would be a mistake to sell it,” Rachu said.

The council agreed not to take any action on the offer to purchase the building.

Other business

_ The council approved a $37,166 pay application from Haas Sons for work done on First Avenue, with $5,000 being retained until the company completes some punch-list items, such as filling cracks in the concrete and clean-up work. The project came in $627 under budget.

_ On Opportunity Drive, Stuttgen said water and sewer line have been installed under the railroad tracks, which will provide utilities to a 24-acre parcel of cityowned land open for development.

In a related matter, the council approved a $5,900 addition to MSA’s contract for additional wetland permitting and surveying work in that area. This includes a certified survey map for five acres of land that is currently in the town of Colby and needs to be annexed.

_ Stuttgen said yard drains were installed at the properties of Jim Colby and Brad Thielman in the Sportsmens Estates, to prevent further flooding on their properties after the installation of curb and gutter last year.

_ Stuttgen said the public works crew saved some money by installing six-inch water main for the new apartments in the Schilling Meadows subdivision.

_ Utility operator Josh Soyk said one of the city’s newer wells, number 20, had dropped from 50 to 20 gallons per minute, so Brunner Well Drilling cleared out iron bacteria plugging the pipe. The well is back up to 50 gpm, but Soyk said he is going to present a hydro-fracking proposal to the council at its next meeting as a possible longterm solution.

_ The council took no action on a proposal to replace an underground conduit that’s used to connect two wells near the Abbotsford K-12 campus. Soyk presented two quotes for directional boring, but council members thought the project may be able to be done in conjunction with a planned street project on Hemlock Street. Soyk said he and Stuttgen would discuss whether the council’s idea was doable before returning with a proposal.

_ The council approved the purchase of a new camera head, at a cost of $2,926, to replace one that broke off while inspecting a 300 foot well. The city will also look at submitting an insurance claim.