Police and fire project gets favorable bids
by Anna Erickson, Staff Writer Bids came in considerably lower than estimates for Wadena police and fire hall remodeling and addition, and an especially low bid from Eagle Construction of Little Falls was awarded Monday night by the Wadena Counci...
by Anna Erickson,
Bids came in considerably lower than estimates for Wadena police and fire hall remodeling and addition, and an especially low bid from Eagle Construction of Little Falls was awarded Monday night by the Wadena Council.
The council approved a $509,000 bid and an alternative pitch and gravel roof for $32,000 from the construction company at a special meeting Monday. Construction costs from Widseth Smith Nolting, an architectural and engineering firm, were estimated at more than $700,000.
Reed Becker, an architect with Widseth Smith Nolting, said Eagle Construction has worked on some of their projects before and has done a good job. Since their bid was so low, Becker said he asked them if they were still comfortable with their bid.
"They said they were out of work," he said, and that's why they bid low.
The city will need to issue bonds for the project and pay back the money over a set number of years. A preliminary bond scenario by Northland Securities, Inc., lists the bond amount at $625,000. This includes the construction bid along with architect and other fees associated with issuing the bond.
Two scenarios are proposed: a 10-year term and a 15-year term.
The 10-year term would be $785,267.71 with principal and interest, according to Northland Securities, and the 15-year term would be $869,579.58 with principal and interest.
According to preliminary calculations by Northland Securities, the estimated annual tax impact for a 10-year bond term would be: $23 annually on a $50,000 home, $34 on a $75,000 home, $46 on a $100,000 home and $68 on a $150,000 home. For commercial/industrial property, the estimated annual tax impact would be $194 for property worth $250,000. For apartment property worth $200,000, the estimated annual tax impact would be $115.
The estimated annual tax impact for a 15-year bond term would be less but tax payers would pay more interest in the long run.
According to Northland Securities, the estimated annual tax impact for a 15-year bond term would be: $16 on a $50,000 home, $24 on a $75,000 home, $32 on a $100,000 home and $48 on a $150,000 home. For commercial/industrial property, the estimated annual tax impact would be $136 for property worth $250,000. For apartment property worth $200,000, the estimated annual tax impact would be $80.
The plan for renovations includes an addition to the west side of the police department with new offices and a two-stall, three-space garage. The third space would be used for storage. Remodeling in the plan includes the existing police garage converted into office space and an interrogation room. In the front portion of the building, a new lobby and conference room would be made. Bathrooms would be remodeled to become handicapped accessible and comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Security has changed since the police and fire station was built more than 30 years ago. The renovation would include a new entryway with bulletproof glass and a locked door for increased security.
The council discussed whether to go with a rubber roof, which would be included in the $509,000 bid or go with a pitch and gravel roof for an extra $32,000. The building has a rubber roof now.
Mayor Wayne Wolden, who is the business manager at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena Campus, said the college has a pitch and gravel roof and prefers that to the rubber roof.
Becker, of Widset Smith Nolting, said the pitch and gravel roof has made a comeback.
Electric and Water Superintendent Tim Johnston, who used to live in Florida, said he remembers rubber roofs didn't do well there. He prefers the pitch and gravel roof and said there were more problems with rubber roofs.
"Didn't the roof start a lot of this conversation?" asked Councilman Pete Phillips. "Let's not cheap out again."
A second alternative, which the council decided not to approve, was to take cabinets out of the bid and bid out cabinet construction locally. This would have decreased the bid by $15,800. But, there would be a chance the bids could come in higher than that price. The council kept the cabinets as part of the bid.
Ultimately, the council passed a motion to accept the bid alternative for the pitch and gravel roof for $32,000, along with the $509,000 base bid.
The council will discuss whether to issue bonds on a 10-year or 15-year term at its next meeting on May 16.