Story City council approves contract for Elm Avenue overlay project

Todd ThorsonStaff Writertthorson@storycityherald.com

The Story City Council gave the go-ahead for the Elm Avenue overlay and pedestrian ramp improvements project at its regular meeting Monday night (July 18). Plans and specifications along with the awarding of the contract were approved.

Mark Crawford of Clapsaddle-Garber Associates, the city’s engineering firm, was present to go over the contract and project. Manatt’s of Ames was awarded the contract at a base bid price of $136,874.25. The timeline for the project has not been set, but Crawford stated that he would be in contact with Manatt’s soon to set dates and details for the project’s implementation.

Crawford also pointed out the patching aspect of the project, and explained the costs associated with that particular part.

“The only thing I have on the patching, that quantity in there and the dollar amount from Manatt’s, who submitted the bid, (is) that total price is somewhat of an estimate, ” said Crawford. “Bruce (Henrichs, the city’s street department head) and I walked it and identified some areas that definitely need some full depth patching to occur. But I added some additional quantity in case we get into a situation where we uncover something that is not evident on the surface. So we may not use all of that $23,512 (allotment for patching).”

The council also denied a change order for the South Park Improvement Project. Lansink Construction, the contractor for the project, had requested the change, which would have involved installing concrete pillars to the South Park shelter house using stone veneer rather than the original stone columns of reclaimed material. The change order request was a $2,200 deduction.

Sean O’Shea of MSA Professional Services was present to submit the change order from Lansink, which was different from the original specifications. O’Shea had spoken to the structural engineer of the project about the stone veneer, which is actually made out of stone and concrete.

“It’s just that it’s made off site, in panel form, versus having four inches of stone to match the wall, which is in the specs,” said O’Shea. “Ultimately, it’s up to the council. You’re paying a little bit of a premium because you took the bump and went from the wood, using the wood pillars, and going to the stone.”

Council member Matt Triggs responded to O’Shea with his reason for denying the change order:

“A lot of times projects may or may not be able to salvage some materials, but you’re still building it in a certain way. Now, I kind of feel for Lansink, where they’ve only been able to salvage 25 percent, but doesn’t that kind of chalk up to ‘not our problem’. You bid it that way. They have to sit down at time of bid, look at it, figure out how much they think they can salvage and how much contingent they need to add, and still be the low bid. To me, if that’s how your plans are written, for no more than $2,200 in deduct, then I would say ‘No’. Go get the stone on your dime and there’s not a change order to get the stone. This is what we want. We paid the extra. You knew it was in the planned documents. Now, if they’re going to take $23,000 in a deduct, then we’d have to sit here and talk about it. But they took that risk, and they didn’t inspect the site enough to know or build enough contingent. So, my gut would be to say (again) ‘No’, based on all that, unless you can build it the way we approved it and go get the real stone, unless there’s something in the spec sheet that tells us different.”

After further discussion, the council voted to deny the change order, based on the minimal amount and because the use of real stone was approved in the original plans.

In other business, the council:

—approved $3,500 for this year’s Storytelling Festival in September to help defray the costs for the storytellers. This year’s festival has been scaled back and is a joint venture between the GCC, the Story City Historical Society and the Bertha Bartlett Public Library. Kate Feil of the historical society and Abby Huff of the GCC were in attendance to submit the plea for funds;

—approved a sewer bill reduction for Brenda Nelson at 1111 Elm Avenue in the amount of $151.67;

—was informed that interviews for a Parks and Recreation job and the Water/Wastewater operator position will be conducted soon. Recommendations would then be presented at the August 1 council meeting.