Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hailey to proceed on Woodside bids

Engineering costs at $830,000 and rising


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Hailey officials are preparing to try once more in January to get construction bids that the city can afford for the redevelopment of Woodside Boulevard.

If bids come in at $3.8 million or less, the Hailey City Council has agreed to move forward next summer with a scaled-back version of the project, taking advantage of a $3.5 million federal grant Hailey received last year.

If bids come in at more than $3.8 million, the city will call a halt to a project that will have cost the city $932,000 in engineering costs.

City Administrator Heather Dawson said the total cost of the project would be $5.7 million with $2.2 million in costs for the city.

The city would pay for construction engineering and inspections, materials testing, a contingency fund and other costs associated with the project.

One concern voiced by the City Council on Monday was the fact that the city's capital improvement fund balance would be reduced to $350,000 under the proposal.

After two weeks of deliberation, the council authorized payment Monday of a $67,578 cost overrun charged to the city by JUB Engineers. The firm has said the overrun resulted from a rushed engineering process last summer to meet a federal grant bidding deadline.

The overall costs came in last summer at nearly $6.8 million, about $2.3 million more than the $4.5 million that the city had expected.

The original JUB engineering process included extensive public input from Woodside residents, but JUB will seek $48,000 more next Monday to alert residents to a new plan to get the boulevard completed next summer.

"Many of the people, especially on the south end of Woodside Boulevard, were expecting it to happen in 2013, not 2012," said City Administrator Heather Dawson.

The council also authorized a $6,500 payment to JUB to begin scaled-back drawings for the project. Total costs for six weeks of re-engineering are expected to reach $108,900.

Councilman Fritz Haemmerle told Laurie Lori Labrum, a spokeswoman for JUB Engineering, that the city would need "tight communication" from now on to not create more unexpected expenses.

"Otherwise this could put us in the red," he said.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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