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Council OK's advertising for bids for frost boil repairs

The City Council has authorized city staff to advertise for bids from contractors interested in repairing frost boils on selected streets in Willmar. Tribune photo

WILLMAR -- Bids are due next week from contractors interested in repairing larger frost boils among the dozens of frost boils that erupted in Willmar's city streets this spring.

The City Council has authorized city staff to advertise for bids from contractors interested in repairing frost boils and utility cuts, and voted to transfer $352,000 from the WRAC 8 reserve to a project budget to pay the cost.

City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city will rely on a private contractor to perform much of the repair work and particularly in areas where the frost boils are larger. The Public Works Department will handle the smaller repairs, estimated at $16,952.

Schmit and Public Works Director Holly Wilson had recommended the city seek the services of a private contractor to assist the Public Works Department because the number of frost boils was up this year and the boils are larger and more damaging than in past years.

"I think we've identified probably between 80 and 90 of them that will need attention,'' said Schmit.

Wilson said bids will be opened June 16. Council approval of the contract will be requested June 20. Completion date is July 29.

Wilson said the Public Works Department started patching repairs this week.

In related business, the council adopted a preliminary budget of $439,000 and ordered an improvement hearing to reconstruct portions of four streets that were heavily damaged by frost boils.

The work will be added to the contract that the city already has with Duininck Inc. for the 2011 street improvements.

The streets are 20th Avenue Southwest from 22nd to 25th Street, 25th Street Southwest from 20th Avenue to 21st Avenue, 11th Avenue Southeast from Sixth Street to Ninth Street, and Fourth Avenue Southeast from 24th Street to 25th Street.

The projects will be financed through the permanent improvement revolving fund and will be reimbursed through the 2012 bond issue.

Also, the council ordered an improvement report for street and sanitary sewer repairs on 12th Street Southwest between Becker and Trott Avenues. Problems developed recently when a failure occurred in the sanitary sewer line and bad soils and failed pipe were discovered along the entire block.

The project's preliminary budget is $113,000. The work will be financed by the permanent improvement revolving fund and will be reimbursed by the 2012 bond issue. A tentative date of July 5 has been set for the improvement hearing.

In other business Monday night, the council:

- Approved the low price quote of Hansen Concrete of Spicer, not to exceed $28,890, to build the slab for the skateboard park. The park will be moved from the former Washington Elementary School parking lot to Swansson Field.

- Approved the low price quote of $29,000 from the engineering firm of Bolton & Menk to conduct a sump pump inspection and education program. The purpose of the program is to ensure compliance with city ordinance against unpermitted discharge of sump pump water into the sanitary sewer system. Officials say the wastewater treatment plant has been receiving too much sump pump water, which is clean but must be treated along with waste water. The extra treatment costs more money and uses up plant capacity, Schmit said.

- Approved a temporary liquor license for The Oaks at Eagle Creek of Willmar, which will sponsor the Jaycees Peanut Bar on June 23 from 3 p.m. to midnight during Willmar Fests. The peanut bar will have a fenced area for a beer garden.

- Voted 6-1 to approve an on-sale wine license for Willmar Baseball LLC, doing business as Willmar Stingers at Bill Taunton Stadium. Willmar Baseball currently holds a 3.2 beer license. With both licenses, Willmar Baseball will be allowed to serve strong beer, according to City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday. Council member Steve Ahmann voted against. Ahmann said he appreciates the Stingers and praised the Public Works Department for stadium upkeep, but said he didn't agree "with the philosophy of having that type of facility with an open bar kind of an attitude.''

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150