Project gets nodThe Jamestown City Council unanimously approved proceeding with the Business Loop East reconstruction project during its regular meeting Monday. But it won’t include a parking lane.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved proceeding with the Business Loop East reconstruction project during its regular meeting Monday. But it won’t include a parking lane.
Owners of 74 percent of the property along the frontage road who would be assessed for the parking lane protested out of that part of the project.
“The parking lane could be eliminated as a change order at the time of construction,” said Jeff Fuchs, city administrator. “That would mean no parking along the frontage road.”
The bids for the project were opened in February by the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
The apparent low bidder is Sellin Brothers of Hawley, Minn., at $5.4 million, said Steven Windish, project engineer for Ulteig Engineering.
“Construction should start in May with completion of everything but seal coat and striping this construction season,” he said.
The project includes rebuilding the road known as Business Loop East as well as replacing water and sewer utilities under the street.
Engineers’ estimates prior to the bidding were about $4.8 million with the city share of costs set at $1.8 million. At a meeting in January the city discussed placing $1 million as a citywide special assessment with the remaining cost spread as special assessments to property owners in the area of the project.
Windish said the cost reduction to the project for removing the parking lane would not be known until the bid was awarded.
In other business the council extended the contract allowing Rick Laqua to continue selling mini doughnuts at the Jamestown Civic Center to the end of March. The Civic Center had notified him his contract would end on March 1.
“I’ve been doing concessions for 12 years,” Laqua said. “The equipment is not easy to run. I’ve also heard from a lot of people that they like the mini doughnuts because it’s something different than other events.”
Laqua pays the Civic Center a 15 percent commission on gross sales. For the past two years this has averaged about $950 per year.
“We should note the Civic Center provides electricity and cleanup,” said Pam Fosse, manager of the Civic Center. “At times the commission doesn’t pay for the costs.”
Mayor Katie Andersen suggested that all concessions at the Civic Center be put out on competitive bids.
“I don’t want to see it affect the solvency of the Civic Center,” she said. “But we should give private parties an option.”
Fuchs said the profit from the concessions was second only to the arena rental as a revenue source for the Civic Center.
“Our average net revenues from the concessions are about $4,000 per month,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to find a business that can pay that kind of fee to the Civic Center and make a profit.”
The commission agreed to allow Laqua to continue to operate through the end of March to use up his current supplies and to give the council time to research the issue.
In other business, the council removed from the agenda and tabled the Storefront Improvement Program funding request from the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. The program would grant money to businesses to improve storefronts and signage on a cost-share basis. It had died for a lack of a motion by the Stutsman County Commission last week.
“I think we’ll see a modification from the JSDC on this,” Andersen said.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com