In 2018, the City of Redwood Falls experienced a major watermain break on Bridge Street near the Y intersection. As a result a decision was made to replace that watermain while the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was conducting some road improvements in that same area.

The initial bid for the watermain replacement work was $563,057.15, but, according to Jim Doering, public works project coordinator for the city, the final contact price was significantly less than that.

According to Doering, the final contract price was $475,291.70 – a savings of more than $87,000. Doering explained the savings to the Redwood Falls city council during its Feb. 19 meeting at the Redwood Falls Public Library.

Much of the cost savings were realized in concrete removal and replacement areas that overlapped with the MNDOT project.

Doering told the council that both the city and MnDOT experienced cost savings as a result of working cooperatively and sharing in the removal and replacement costs within the project area. As part of the meeting, the city council approved the final pay reimbursement to GM Contracting, Inc. for the work on the watermain project at a cost of $23,764.59. 

The approval of the final pay reimbursement also begins the two-year replacement period, which will end Feb. 19, 2021.

In other action during its Feb. 19 meeting, the Redwood Falls city council:

• Appointed new city council member Denise Kerkhoff to the housing and redevelopment authority, the library commission and the port authority as the city council liaison.

• Approved the purchase of four Motorola radios in the amount of $11,115.88 for the Redwood Falls Fire Department.

According to Jeff Bommersbach, fire chief, the department has been slowly phasing out its old radios in an effort to move toward the new 800 megahertz system, adding the new radios are going to make the department fully functional in terms of communication during an emergency.

The move fully to 800 megahertz will allow the fire department not only to communication better within the department but also with other entities, such as the police department, ambulance and other fire departments. He added the radios can communicate with anyone in the state, and Bommersbach said should a major catastrophe ever occur the new radios will help to ensure effective communication across the board.

• Approved the list of purchases recommended by the joint city-school fund. The 2019 projects in the amount of $16,998.29 include the replacement of equipment at the Redwood Area Communicate center, with items also included for local baseball and softball programs. Keith Muetzel, city administrator, said the city and the school district have each been providing a $10,000 allocation to this program to help enhance what is offered for students and the community as a whole.

A committee made up of representatives from each government entity meet together to come up with a list of priority projects to be purchased using those funds. In addition to the purchases, the city council also approved the $10,000 allocation for 2019. After the 2019 purchases a balance of $11,763.41 will be rolled over until next year’s project recommendations are made.

Mayor Tom Quackenbush asked what the process was for members to request equipment, and Muetzel said there are opportunities for those who utilize the amenities to make suggestions to staff verbally adding there are also comment cards available for them to submit.