Work to make improvements on Gould Street from Second Street south to Normandale Road is scheduled to begin this summer, but the work will be starting a little later than initially anticipated.
The reason for the delay is due to the fact that the low bidder for the work was rejected by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) due to its failure to submit forms related to its disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) and on the job training program.
The city solicited bids for the work earlier this year and received five bids, with Kuechle Underground, Inc. of Kimball submitting the low bid of $1,307,947.29.
According to Andy Kehren of Bolton and Menk, which assisted the city with coordination of the bidding process, when federal funds are used the low bidder is required to send in forms to the state within five days of bid opening.
According to MnDOT that was not done, and so it deemed the low bidder on the project “unresponsive” and rejected the bid. The request was to submit forms to the MnDOT office of civil rights to determine its plan to meet the requirement of having 3 percent of the work awarded to disadvantaged businesses (women or minorities) and to provide 300 hours of on the job training.
As a result of the rejected bid the city moved forward with the second low bid from Schmidt Construction of Redwood Falls at $1,402,814.85.
That bid was approved by the city council at its meeting Tuesday night subject to final approval from MnDOT.
Kehren told the council that the bid from Schmidt Construction was still below the $1.514 million engineer’s estimate, adding the difference between the bids was approximately $95,000.
The project is primarily being funded with federal dollars (ap-proximately $900,000), with an additional $500,000 coming in from the state.
The city must also provide funds and had set aside up to $350,000 for the project. Kehren said the majority of the difference between the bids would be covered by the federal grant funds, with the state picking up a share and the city coming up with about $10,000 of what is needed.
Kehren said Schmidt Construction has submitted the required forms, adding that a preliminary review by the office of civil rights has also been conducted.
It is anticipated that notification regarding the bid will be coming from MnDOT within the week. The decision to expedite the process was made to ensure the project will not be delayed any longer than is necessary, as the council is not scheduled to meet again until July 18 due to the fact that its next scheduled meeting would have fallen on July 4.
Once approval has been submitted by MnDOT the process will continue to move forward, and Jim Doering, city public works project coordinator, said an open house with the residents along Gould Street will be held to inform them about the project.
In other action during its meeting, the council:
• Approved an application for a temporary on-sale 3.2% malt liquor license for St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Redwood Falls for an event being held this coming September.
• Approved an application for a temporary on-sale liquor license for the Redwood Area Chamber for an event being held in July.
• Held a discussion regarding the city’s noon and 10 p.m. whistle based on a letter from a resident who asked if there was a need for that whistle to blow at those times anymore.