WATERLOO, Iowa --- The City Council opened bids for the second time this year on a new public works building.
This time it appears they have enough money at least to get the project under way.
Larson Construction of Independence submitted the apparent lowest base bid of $6.2 million Monday for the proposed 130,000-square-foot building at the former Construction Machinery Corp. plant site. Seven other base bids ranged from $6.6 million to $6.9 million.
Larson was also the lowest bidder May 16, the first time the city open bids on the project. But the $8.5 million price then was well above the money the city had available for the work.
Public Works Director Mark Rice said the city went back to the drawing board after the bids were rejected last spring.
"We changed some of the specifications as far as the size of the building," Rice said. "And we broke parts of the project out and bid them as alternates which gives us the ability to do it in phases."
Rice and Kueny Architects will review the bids --- including whether to proceed with some 15 alternates, which would add to the cost --- before returning to the City Council with a recommendation on how to move ahead.
The city has a $5 million state I-JOBS grant, a $1 million grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association and $760,000 in local general obligation bonds set aside for the project.
"We're very appreciative of the money from the gaming association," said Rice, noting that grant was awarded after the original bids were rejected.
Plans would add onto to the existing 27,000-square-foot building at the former Construction Machinery Corp. plant near the intersection of Vinton and Glenwood streets. The building also will have room for 150 vehicles, ranging from motor pool compact cars to garbage and dump trucks and motor graders.
The facility would house the city's central garage, which handles vehicle maintenance, and the street department. They both are currently located on Black Hawk Street; traffic operations, currently located in a building across East Sixth Street from City Hall; and building maintenance operations, now working out of City Hall.
In other business, council members voted 6-0 to approve:
- A $149,700 contract with Peterson Contractors Inc., of Reinbeck, to demolish the former Grand Hotel at 300 W. Mullan Ave. The city purchased the building with plans to tear it down for future development.
- A $63,251 contract with McClain and Co. Inc., of Waterloo, to demolish the remaining properties acquired through a Federal Emergency Management Agency buyout following the 2008 flood. The contract covers the remaining structures in Sherwood Park and a house and garages on Sans Souci Island.