Anoka to delay awarding bid for second phase of Castle Field

The Anoka City Council unanimously rejected a bid for the construction of the second phase of Castle Field.

“Phase II of the project includes the building underneath the bleachers, restroom facilities, storage facilities and concession,” said Greg Lee, Anoka’s public services director and city engineer.

The bid also included alternates for an entrance monument to the field as well as a trash enclosure.

But the city only received one bid on the project, estimated to cost $338,000.

The bid came in at $408,200 – nearly 20 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate.

The lone bidder was Ebert Construction, the company that also handled the construction of the first phase of Castle Field.

“We did a little research and discussed this with contractors who were plan holders on this project but didn’t bid on it,” Lee said. “In speaking with them they said they were simply busy this time of year and didn’t have time to get bids from subcontractors.”

So the city instead will reject this bid and go out for bids again in December or January, hoping that when contractors are less busy the numbers will be more favorable.

The contractor would have the construction season of 2014 to complete the project, Lee said, but would have to work around baseball activities at Castle Field in the early part of the summer.

Councilmember Steve Schmidt said it was no surprise the bid came in high. He recently saw Ebert Construction working on the remodeling of two different elementary schools off Highway 101.

“The contractors are pretty busy this time of year so they throw out a higher than typical bid and if they get it, they make more money,” Lee said.

But Schmidt also said that by waiting to rebid the project his winter, the city is taking a gamble.

“We have to acknowledge we’re rolling the dice,” Schmidt said. “We might not get any better bids, but with only one bidder it’s tough.”

Mayor Phil Rice said that while for several years the city has seen bids significantly below estimates, more recently they have been right on or just below when bid during the off season.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]