Friday, June 18, 2010

City hopes rodeo project will provide jobs

Salvage operation to begin following Fourth of July rodeo

Express Staff Writer

Hailey officials are taking steps to ensure that as many local workers as possible can bid on the redevelopment of the Hailey Rodeo Arena, scheduled to begin this summer.

Salvage operations will begin on the white palisade wall, murals and bleachers of the historic rodeo arena immediately following the Sawtooth Rangers Fourth of July Days of the Old West Rodeo.

Architect Nick Latham told the Hailey City Council on Monday that next year's Fourth of July rodeo will take place in a new and expanded multi-use arena. He said soil studies on the site turned up some loose sand that will have to be replaced, but that no asbestos and no lead paint was discovered in the 62-year-old structure.

"I was surprised by that," he said.

Local companies Galena Engineering and Power Engineers are already involved in the redevelopment, a city of Hailey public works project.

"If you put this out to bid under a general contractor, you will surely get bids from Boise, Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City," said Public Works Director Tom Hellen. "We are already getting calls on this from out of the area."

City Attorney Ned Williamson told the council that only two general contractors in the valley have licenses to bid on public works projects. Due to this, he said, the job would likely go to a company out of the area with subcontractors hired by that company.

The council decided instead to hire a construction manager to oversee the $1.9 million project. By doing so, the 20 subcontractors needed to complete the project could be bondable at lesser amounts than the $1.9 million bond required of a general contractor.

"There will be many local bidders on these projects if the jobs are broken down into biddable sizes," Hellen said.

City Administrator Heather Dawson said the construction manager option would also provide the city more control over the project.

"A construction manager would be more of a team player," she said.

Williamson said state law requires that the jobs go to the "lowest responsive bidder," meaning the lowest price for a bid that meets construction specifications.

Latham said there would be pre-bid conferences to inform potential bidders on the details of the project.

By the end of July, plans will be finalized for the Hailey Ice indoor rink and recreation facility. Combined with the planned expansion of Hailey's skate park and a visitor center, the rodeo grounds will look very different by this time next year.

The Hailey Ice rink, a separately funded, private project, is scheduled to be finished by fall 2011.

Attorney Jim Laski said in an interview that Hailey Ice is working toward plans for a year- round facility, large enough to accommodate inline hockey, indoor soccer, tennis and basketball courts.

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