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Bids approved for Hotel Atwater renovation

The historic Hotel Atwater, shown Thursday, is located on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Atwater. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

ATWATER -- After years of debate it appears renovations will begin this year on the historic Hotel Atwater.

At its meeting Wednesday, the City Council unanimously approved bids for tuckpointing the exterior masonry walls and repairing the roof of the 1904-era building.

The bids were lower than the engineer's estimates and put the project "over the hump," said City Clerk Goldie Smith.

The city had been developing plans to turn the abandoned and gutted building into a municipal building to house city offices, library and police department but held off giving the green light to the project until costs were known.

The lowest of three bids to tuckpoint the walls was $42,420 from Kostreba Tuckpointing of Rice. The bid was well below the $82,500 estimate.

The lowest of four bids to repair the roof was $29,274 from Roof 1 of Freeport. That estimate was $32,800.

These two costs had concerned the council the most, Smith said.

Work won't begin until a general contractor is hired. Bids for that project are expected to be awarded sometime this spring so that tuckpointing, and interior work, can begin this summer. Roof repairs are expected to take place this fall.

The council also accepted a contract with the project architect, Engan Associates Architects of Willmar.

"This was an exciting decision to make," said Councilman Shane Hagstrom. "After years of wrangling over what to do with our government buildings, we are moving forward. My hope is that we will be renovating a building that residents can be proud of for many, many years to come."

The city has already received grants from the Minnesota Historical Society to offset renovation costs. The city has also applied for other grants.

In other action:

- The Economic Development Authority reported that the town's clinic, the Atwater Wellness Center, will begin taking patients May 18. The facility, which closed last year after a long association with Affiliated Community Medical Centers, is reopening as a branch of Willmar's Family Practice Medical Center. Laura Winn, a certified nurse practitioner, will be staffing the clinic.

- The council will do soil boring on several streets that have been failing to determine the extent of damage.

- The city of Crystal is giving Atwater its old outdoor hockey rink. It will be installed inside the running track at Centennial Park.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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