Public Works tables decision on warehouse construction bids

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Six bids were up for review by Marshall Municipal Utilities and the Board of Public Works Thursday, Nov. 3, for the planned construction of a new warehouse and maintenance building.

No decision was reached during Thursday's review as the board chose to table the matter until its next meeting on Nov. 17. The buildings would be constructed north of MMU's existing Underground Facilities and Electric Distribution office, near its wastewater plant.

General Manager Kyle Gibbs reported the bids for the warehouse building came in under budget while those for the maintenance building did not, but that MMU would like to move forward with both projects. However, he noted the board had already approved multiple capital-spending projects for the 2016-2017 fiscal year that could impact its ability to do so, and that long-term financing might be necessary to complete all of the projects.

MMU currently stands approximately $600,000 short of being able to finance the buildings without cutting other ongoing projects from either the Underground Facilities or Environmental Services department, according to Administrative Services Director Ken Gieringer.

"On the system, doing the cured in place (pipe cleaning method) and doing the replacement for the smaller mains -- that's what's kept the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) off our backs," Gieringer said. "... So, I can't see cutting that back."

MMU contracted with Shafer, Kline and Warren, an engineering firm, at a cost of $86,500 in February to operate on its behalf in the planning stage and seeking of bids for the warehouse. That contract was expanded by $28,000 in March when the public works board voted to approve the addition of planning for the maintenance building to the contract.

The two projects were combined in an effort to decrease costs. However, Thursday the board discussed potentially only moving forward with one of building for the time being.

"In 1997... working out of the power plant, using the break room -- there (were) places to get the job done, but we didn't keep our trucks in, we did stuff inefficiently, and we made do, and that's what'll happen here if you decide not to build this maintenance shop," Gibbs said. "We'll make do, and we'll keep looking at it, and we'll make do, but we should have built it two or three years ago. (We had) the same money we've got now, and the buildings cost more."

Of the bids received, Septagon Construction of Sedalia presented the lowest price at a combined $1.73 million -- $370,000 for the maintenance building and $1.36 million for the warehouse.

"What we see in the warehouse is fairly cut and dry -- I think that bid's a good bid," Gibbs said, adding that he was in favor of moving forward with both bids despite financial considerations.

Since those bids were submitted for both projects to be done at one time, should the board elect to only move forward with construction of one of the buildings, Gibbs said any savings from combining the projects would likely be eliminated.

Contact Arron Hustead at

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