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Montevideo awards bid for $10.5M wastewater plant plan

MONTEVIDEO -- Work on a major upgrade to the Montevideo wastewater treatment plant could be under way as early as next week.

City Council members awarded the low bid for the project Monday.

The low bid by Rice Lake Construction, of Deerwood, totaled $10,475,000, an amount well below earlier estimates, reported City Manager Steve Jones. The engineer's estimate for the project was $13 million

Along with better-than-expected bids came similar good news on funding for the project. Council members awarded the bid contingent on the firm's compliance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The federal stimulus program could provide up to $4 million in grant funds for the project, city officials learned.

Jones said the city has not yet received confirmation on the grant funding, but officials are optimistic. The contractor verbally indicated it would be able to meet the requirements of the act and was hoping to begin work on the project soon.

Rice Lake Construction was one of six companies that offered bids. The project will upgrade the plant and bring it into compliance with stricter phosphorus regulations in the Minnesota River. The greatest share of the project costs are for equipment related to phosphorus removal and an expanded sludge storage system.

In other business Monday, council members approved the city's share of costs for replacing the air and heating systems at the Chippewa County-Montevideo Library. The library board has approved a low bid of $139,000 from Bisbee Mechanical, of Marshall.

The city will be responsible for roughly one half of the costs, or $76,136 when engineering and architectural fees are included.

It had set aside $25,500 toward a goal of raising $40,000 for a new heating system, but the project took on a new urgency and bigger scope after the July 31, 2008, windstorm destroyed its air conditioning system.

Council members also agreed to go ahead with the 2009 street improvements after reviewing bids for the work.

Four bids are being considered, including a low bid of $279,195 from Bituminous Paving Inc., of Ortonville.

The engineer's estimate for the projects was more than $300,000.