Minot’s City Council has approved a bid for a new City Hall on Monday. The project is coming at a cost slightly higher than what was budgeted.
The city’s first bid attempt ended with no obvious choice because of the high bid cost. After a re-bid, officials recommended Rolac Contracting at a price of about $15 million.
“I think all of us were probably a little concerned that the numbers were going to come in higher than we were hoping and they did but I think that we have a reasonable proposal in front of us,” said Councilmember Lisa Olson.
The bid is about $2 million higher than the city’s original estimate of about $13 million. City Manager Harold Stewart said the extra dollars will not be a burden to taxpayers.
“This $2 million amendment is proposed by staff to be paid for out of the General Fund Reserves which mean the taxpayers have already paid for this so there is no intention of city staff at any point in the future bringing forward a recommendation that would result in any tax increases,” Stewart said.
During discussions, Councilmember Stephan Podrygula raised concerns about add-on features. He questioned whether the air filtration system could be prioritized over other features.
“The problem I’m facing is that I’m very, very, very concerned about number six which is only $27,000 but before we can get to number six we have to deal with this flexible opening nanowall of to the tune of 118,000,” Podrygula said.
City Engineer Lance Meyer explained add-on features referred to as alternates are ordered sequentially.
The city is adding on four alternates which cannot include the sixth alternate — an upgrade of the air purification system.
In order for that to happen, the city will first have to take on the additional cost of $118,000 for an operable glass wall at council chambers.
“The way that we have to award this bid according to the federal rules is if you’re going to have alternates you have to take a base bid and then you have to tell the bidders exactly how you’re going to select the alternate so that the bidding is fair so you can’t pick alternates 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 so that you can get the bidder that you want,” Meyer said.
The city plans to discuss the air purification system at a later time during construction.
Two firms put in bids for the project — Mattson Construction and Rolac. The former had a base bid over $1 million higher than Rolac.
The City Hall Rehab project is expected to begin early next year.
The new City Hall building will be located in the old Wells Fargo building in downtown Minot and it is estimated it will be ready for use 12 months after the project begins.