Anyone clamoring to see the grand opening of Granite Falls’ new water treatment facility will have to wait a little longer.
On Monday, the Granite Falls City Council agreed to sign off on a request by water plant contractor, Rice Lake Construction, of Deerwood, asking that the USDA Rural Development Authority amend both substantial and final completion project deadlines from November 9 to December 31 and December 19 to March 31, 2013, respectively.
In a letter addressed to project architect, Stantec, of St. Paul, Project Manager Nevin Fenstermacher explained how a variety of control and coordination issues, from delayed electrical installation to forthcoming weather factors, resulted in the need for an extension.
According to City Manager Bill Lavin, beyond tardiness, the delay is not expected to have any impact on the city in terms of cost or other matters. Council members expressed understanding in regard to the need for the extension, but also appeared to be unhappy that Rice had not given any indication that the timeline was going to be a problem at prior meetings.
“We’ve heard all these reports and they were always: everything’s good, everything’s fine,” commented councilman Bill Miller.
The USDA’s approval of the extension to March 31, 2013 extension pushes the final project completion back 163 days. For those wondering how long it will be before the work at Oak St. is finished––weather permitting, the street work is expected to be completed and opened after November 12.
In other news:
•Council members also ok’d an extension request by Troy’s Electric in relation to the city’s Electric Meter Replacement Projet. Last December, Troy’s Electric was awarded a bid in the amount of $181,277.96 for the replacement of electric meters at 85 locations with automated electrical meters.
The original contract stated that all work would be done December 1, The new deadline indicates that all work be done by March 1.
•Recognizing that the state would invariably offer the lowest bid, council members waived calling for bids and instead simply accepted a state bid for the purchase of $23,269.79 in radio equipment.
The purchase of the 14 radios comes on the heels of a federal guidelines requiring all public utilities to have radio equipment capable operating on a narrow, as opposed to wide, band radio channel.
Similar requirements have also been instituted for local and state fire and safety institutions, most of which have already made the transition to the new equipment.
Realizing that the change was coming, money had been budgeted for the expenditure within the Capital Improvements Budget.
•Council members approved a $13,172.72 bid from Minnesota Petroleum Services, Inc., of Columbia Heights, to replace diesel and regular tanks located at the city garage in order to bring them into compliance with a state and local Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan.
Page 2 of 2 - Alternative options that included the purchase of diesel and gas at local stations or the construction of containment area around the tanks were also considered. The containment option was nixed because of cost, while efficiency and convenience benefits were said to make tank replacement more desirable than purchasing from the local gas stations.
It was originally estimated that the two 1,000 gallon replacement tanks would cost $8,000.
•Council members heard a report on proposed street improvements from City Engineer Dave Berryman and approved preliminary engineering work for forthcoming city utility projects.