Drainage Concerns Discussed By Supervisors
by Anesa McGregor
Concerns regarding bid letting on five if the largest drainage districts the received damage during the flooding in June 2014 arose during the regular meeting of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, January 17.
A report filed on the estimated cost of repairs by Don Etler, Drainage Engineer from Bolten and Menk of Spencer lead to the discussion of setting a hearing date for Drainage District 15 North and raised several questions regarding bid letting for other drainage districts that were damaged at the same time.
DD 15 North is one of several drainage districts which are still under appeal for FEMA funding; however, if funding is not secured, setting a hearing date for February 28 at 9 a.m., puts the district in a good position to receive bids for the work. The cost of repairs is estimated to be $171,290 and does not include any potential money received from FEMA.
“This is the first one we are doing and it’s not going to happen until February 28,” Supervisor Craig Merrill stated.
“Right, because it has to be on file for 40 days,” Carmen Moser, Palo Alto County Auditor responded.
“How are we going to get all these done to get them bid let before this spring when all the guys are busy?” Merrill questioned.
“I think we better try and crowd some together,” Supervisor Linus Solberg said.
“Could we put them altogether in the bid letting?” Supervisor Ron Graettinger asked.
“If we are going to try and get these done, we need to get going on this,” Merrill said.
“Should we contact Don and see if he feels there are a certain ones that would fit together for contracting?” Supervisor Chairman Keith Wirtz asked.
“I think that would be a good idea,” Merrill said.
“North 15 we are doing today,” Merrill stated.
“Right, that way the clock starts ticking,” Moser said. “I can get the hearing done on February 28.”
“Can we do the rest in one week?” Merrill questioned.
“We can’t do them all in one day,” Moser said.
“But couldn’t we do them in two separate days?” Graettinger asked.
“What we are talking about is trying to get good bids,” Solberg stated.
“Why couldn’t you put these out for bids before you have the hearing?” Graettinger asked.
“That’s what I’m wondering. If you wait the 40 days, then have the hearing and then put bids out, it’s going to get to late,” Merrill stated. “We have to bring that closer together somehow. We can’t keep dragging this out. We have got to get something done.”
After further discussion, it was decided to contact Etler and ask if bids for repair can be put out before the hearing in order to get more people to bid on the projects.
In other business, unanimous approval was given to the Redwood Campground for a Class C permit and Sunday Sales liquor license.
Also Rick Elbert, Elbert Construction presented the Board with bids for the Brinks Building.
The first project was for two exterior doors and two interior windows of safety glass and pass through trays. Bids were received from Algona Glass of Algona for $8,300 and from Northwest Glass of Spencer for $9,641. A unanimous vote awarded the contract to Algona Glass.
The second project was for a grid ceiling. Bids were received from Denison Drywall of Spencer for $13,670 and from Emmetsburg Lumber for $18,678. The Board voted four to one to awarded the contract to Denison Drywall with Supervisor Roger Faulstick voting nay.