Nearly all of the bids for proposed 16-bed hospital in Willmar under $3.1M estimate
WILLMAR -- All but one of the 11 bids submitted for construction of the new mental health facility in Willmar were under the $3.1 million estimate. Bids were opened Tuesday for the 16-bed community behavioral hospital during a meeting of the Kand...
WILLMAR -- All but one of the 11 bids submitted for construction of the new mental health facility in Willmar were under the $3.1 million estimate.
Bids were opened Tuesday for the 16-bed community behavioral hospital during a meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners, but action was not taken.
The bids will be analyzed by the architect to make sure all the specifications were met. The final approval of the contract is expected to be taken during the next County Board meeting on Aug. 21, bringing to a close a lengthy siting and permitting process.
At first it appeared that there was a spread of nearly one million dollars between the lowest and highest bid.
When the bids were opened, the apparent low bid was $2,240,000, submitted by Kuepers Inc. from Baxter.
All the other 10 bids were between $2.8 million and $3.2 million.
Later in the day, County Administrator Larry Kleindl received a fax from Kuepers Inc. requesting that their bid be withdrawn.
Lee Wangstad, project developer for the company, said that a "software malfunction" prevented some of the bid items from being tabulated in the final proposal, which was why their bid was so much lower than the rest. The mistake is "not common" for Kuepers, said Wangstad, and not one the company takes lightly.
The withdrawal of the bid from Kuepers puts the apparent low bid at $2,898,873 from Kue Contractors Inc. of Watkins.
On the other end of the spectrum, the highest bid submitted was $3,220,600 from Salonek Concrete and Construction from Springfield.
Kleindl said he is pleased with the number and quality of bids. "It's a good project for people to get involved in," he said. "We're excited about it being below the estimate."
There was also a spread in the number of construction days the bidders estimated for project completion.
Kue Contractors Inc. said they'd have the job done in 240 calendar days. Salonek estimated it would take 365 days.
Construction on the facility is expected to begin yet this fall on bare farmland off Olena Avenue Southeast.
On Monday, the Willmar City Council approved the conditional use permit for the psychiatric hospital. That action was taken after public hearings and debate during the last couple months, with residents in that neighborhood expressing opposition to the site.
"I think it's been an open process," Kleindl said. "I know there have been a lot of emotions and lot of conversations about this, but I think this is a good project and now we can move forward."
The facility will be owned by Kandiyohi County but operated by the state. Lease payments from the state will pay the county's upfront construction cost within 10 years.
The Willmar hospital will replace the adult mental health facility at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center, which will be phased out once the new hospital is completed.
"I am excited about this," Kleindl said. "Kandiyohi County and Willmar have been home to a mental health facility for one hundred-plus years. This is the right place and location for this facility."
There are a total of 10 identical 16-bed hospitals being built in communities around Minnesota to provide residential mental health treatment for people who would otherwise have gone to a regional treatment center.
The smaller hospitals are designed to make it easier for people to receive treatment closer to home.