Spring Lake Park street work bids in under budget

Bids came in lower than expected for the last leg of Spring Lake Park’s street improvement project.

In the next two years, five streets are slated for improvement and repair: Monroe Street and University Avenue Service Road this summer, and Arthur Street, 81st Avenue and Township Highway 65 Service Drive in 2015.

At a public hearing in November, City Engineer Phil Gravel estimated that those repairs would cost $3.3 million, including $961,445 in assessments.

With low bids, the project should cost less than $3 million, he told the city council at its April 7 meeting.

The council awarded contracts for the 2014-2015 street improvement project and Monroe Street storm sewer grouting project at the meeting.

The Monroe Street storm sewer grouting project was bid separately because it requires more specialized work, Gravel said.

Valley Paving, Inc. presented the lowest bid of eight for the street improvement project, $2,046,653.32. Bids ranged from that amount to $2.7 million.

Only two bids came in for the Monroe Street storm sewer grouting work, and Visu-Sewer, Inc. was awarded the project for its $100,342 bid, which was nearly 50 percent less than the city’s initial estimate.

“They’re comfortable with their bid, and they’ve done their homework and looked at the project,” Gravel said. “We’re confident they can do the work for that amount.”

To finance the projects, council intends to issue general obligation improvement bonds.

Council authorized Northland Securities, Inc. to sell the bonds at the proper moment.

“We come to the market to sell your bonds when the market is ready for you,” said Steven Mattson with Northland Securities.

Mattson estimates the interest level will be prime around May 1, but it’s always in flux, he said.

Councilmember Bob Nelson remembers a time when Mattson was working on another financial matter for the city. He waited for proper interest rates, and it paid off, Nelson said. “Your strategies always work for us,” he said to Mattson.

The plan is to fund the street project over a 10-year period, paying approximately $300,000 back each year.

Proposed assessments remain at $3,079.55 per unit for residential properties and $62.88 per assessable foot for non-residential properties.

Construction is slated to begin in late May.

Olivia Koester is at [email protected]