The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday tabled accepting a bid for an addition to the Armstrong shop over concerns that the lowest bid was nearly $25,000 over the county engineer's estimate.
County engineer Roger Patocka presented three bids, the lowest by Christensen Construction of Estherville for $124,500. Patocka had pegged the cost at $100,000. The board had received two other bids - Larson Contracting Central of Lake Mills for $153,846 and Midstates Buildings, Inc. of Lawton for $216,597.
Patocka noted that Lyle Hevern of Christensen Construction, who was present at the meeting, had provided some costs for recommended upgrades, including nine-by-42-inch footings for $6,800, added insulation and steel panels for $11,900 and Thermax insulation and an additional six inches of roof insulation for $15,200.
Patocka said there would be a utility savings with the added insulation. He said there would be an April 15, 2014 late start date or as soon as weather permits.
Board member Jon Martyr moved that the bid be accepted.
However, board chair Alan Madden said he had received some calls from taxpayers about the addition - when it was still believed the cost would be $100,000. "This is a different figure here," Madden said. He also noted that the board will amend its budget to get $60,000 from rural services for the yearly excavator payment.
The cost of the shop addition, though, Madden indicated, was a different matter.
"To have it change 24 percent is a little bit frightening to me," Madden said. If no one was going to second the motion, he said the matter would be tabled until next week's meeting.
"It doesn't appear that we're going to get anywhere here right now," Madden said.
Regional Water working to connect with Dolliver
The board also met with Randy Van Dyke of Iowa Lakes Regional Water and Darren Bumgarner of Northwest Iowa Planning & Development Commission in a public hearing for submitting a Community Development Block Grant application by Emmet County and the City of Dolliver for a water supply connection for Dolliver.
Van Dyke said ILRW was looking for the best funding scenario which included:
n A Community Development Block Grant from the US Housing and Urban Development, requiring a local match. The grants are competitive, meaning other entities can apply for the same pool of money.
n Environmental Protection Agency money through a state revolving loan administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Van Dyke said a 30-year loan would be available at 2 percent interest.
n A United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan and grant.
Van Dyke said all the money would originate as federal dollars.
Phase I of the water line would extend east from Gruver then north four miles to Dolliver, servicing Dolliver and up to 30 rural water connections along the line. The remainder of the project would be Phase II.
Emmet County and the City of Dolliver will submit a joint CDBG application for $141,000 for the project, with the county's request $75,000 and the City of Dolliver $66,000. Another $482,100 in local funds will come from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Finance Authority's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan fund. The total project cost is $623,100, with $145,000 of the costs from connecting to rural scattered users and $463,500 for connecting to Dolliver.
Madden noted a growing number of residences around Tuttle Lake and asked if they were served now.
Van Dyke said they were not, but that Tuttle Lake was in the final project area - or Phase II. If there is more interest by residents there in hooking up to rural water than there was five years ago, he said ILRW would move forward with servicing those customers south of the state line.