TOWER— The city of Tower will extend its municipal sewer to Hoodoo Point Campground, following action by the city council on Monday. The council approved the low bid from Utility Systems of …
TOWER— The city of Tower will extend its municipal sewer to Hoodoo Point Campground, following action by the city council on Monday. The council approved the low bid from Utility Systems of America, for $412,391, for sewer line installation, replacement, and upgrades at the city-owned campground.
The city had called for a second round of bids, after a mathematical error was found in the low bid from the first round in September and other bids came in too high.
“We also took out some of the smaller items of work that the city maintenance department can do themselves,” said Jason Chopp, project manager from SEH.
Chopp told the council that while sometimes fall bids can come in high, this bid came in very close to their estimates. He also said they had contacted the bidder who will be able to start on the job this fall to ensure completion by May 15, in time for next year’s campground season.
The council approved the bid from USA, which was the lowest of five bids that contractors had submitted to the city.
With contingencies, remaining design costs, and construction engineering and inspection, the project’s final cost is now expected to come in at just under $500,000. That’s closer to engineer’s estimates than the first round of bidding, but still above the earlier estimates.
The city plans to issue a revenue bond to pay for the project, with income from seven new seasonal RV sites and rate increases for all the RV sites. Those rate hikes should come close to covering the bond payments, with the rest to be covered by tapping campground profits. The city was able to transfer $70,000 in campground profits to its general fund in 2016 and had budgeted $80,000 in 2017, but the city is currently proposing to take $60,000 in 2018. Those excess revenues help to fund other city operations.
City officials looked at other funding possibilities, but never applied for grant funding to pay for any portion of the project, according to City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith.
The project will include replacement of some of the aging sewage and water lines at the campground, and will allow for the creation of seven new seasonal sites. City officials had indicated they were concerned that the addition of the seven RV sites would overtax the campground’s aging mound treatment system.
Lamppa sale reversed
In other business the council reversed the sale of Lot Two in the city’s business park to Lamppa Manufacturing. The business has decided to go with the Tower Economic Development Authority’s original proposal to have TEDA construct a new facility for the growing business, using a non-recourse loan from the IRRRB. TEDA would then lease the building to the company. That’s similar to the arrangement the city used to construct the Powerain building, and which is currently in place for the Vermilion Country charter school, which now leases the former Powerain facility.