Eleven bids were received from area construction firms for a chance to build Detroit Lakes’ new police department facility, with bids ranging from a low of $4.8 million to a high of $5.355 million.
The Detroit Lakes City Council, meeting remotely on Tuesday afternoon, April 28, reviewed the bids and awarded a contract to Meieneke-Johnson Construction of Fargo.
The other low bidder on the project, Olaf Anderson Construction of Fargo, actually submitted the lower base bid of $4.8 million — just $2,700 under the Meieneke-Johnson bid.
However, after adding in the six alternates that were included as part of the project, it was Meieneke-Johnson that turned out to be the overall low bidder, at a cost of $5,035,700 — just $55,545 under the Olaf Anderson bid.
The council awarded the contract to the low bidder by unanimous roll call vote, with only aldermen Bruce Imholte and Natalie Bly unable to be present for the proceedings.
Bruce Schwartzman, the lead architect for the police department project, said that the bidding had proved very favorable, as even after adding in soft costs (architectural/engineering fees, furniture, testing, etc.) of just under $1 million, and a construction contingency allowance of $400,000, the total project budget of $6,364,946 is still under the original projected budget of $6.7 million.
Schwartzman also noted that construction is projected to start Friday, May 1, with anticipated completion by June 2021.
New finance director appointed
Also at Tuesday’s special meeting, the council voted to appoint Heidi Ostlie as the city’s new finance director, replacing Pam Slifka, who retired at the end of March.
After approving Ostlie’s appointment, the council listened intently as she went over the specifications for the final action of the meeting: A resolution approving the parameters for the issuance and sale of general obligation sales tax revenue bonds to finance the police department construction.
Ostlie noted that while the resolution gave the pricing committee, including herself, City Administrator Kelcey Klemm and Mayor Matt Brenk, the opportunity to “jump on” any breaks in interest rates that they might find, the amount of the bonds must not exceed $6.7 million, and the interest rate cannot exceed 4%.
The council approved the resolution by unanimous vote, after which the half-hour meeting was adjourned.