SHULLSBURG—Construction for the new city garage is set to start soon. The low bid from Midwest Builders of Fennimore was discussed, modified and accepted by the Shullsburg City Council on Oct. 26.
The council had several options to potentially reduce the price of the building, but ended up keeping almost everything from the original plan.
Scott Chyko, an engineer with Delta 3, said the contractor told him that constructing the building with steel instead of wood would be faster for his crew and the savings could be passed on to the city.
The council was given the option to reduce the price by $15,000 by eliminating one bay. The council didn’t like that option because it would potentially cost more to expand in the future and the engineer would require a $3,200 fee for reworking the plans.
The council weighed five options to determine the final cost of the building: in-floor heat, floor hardener, paving of driveway, heavy rip rap for stream bank and eliminating a bay. They voted to include in-floor heat, although alderman Dan Spillane voted against, include the floor hardener, remove the driveway paving from the plans, remove the heavy rip rap for the stream bank because of a possible grant opportunity and keep the original number of bays.
Using all of those factors, the option to build with wood would cost the city $728,368 while building with steel would cost $730,531, a difference of $2,163.
Chyko said the lifespan of wood and steel are equal, the efficiencies are comparable due to insulation, but the steel building is quicker to construct by this contractor.
The council unanimously voted to build a steel frame building even though it cost a little more.
“I don’t know if there is really anything else [to cut] other than nickel and diming here and there,” alderman Darrell Morrissey said. “When it’s all said and done it’s not worth it. We’ve already said before that we’re behind.”
Mayor Tom Lethlean broke down the final financing for the project. He said $229,023 would be applied from the various city departments leaving $501,508 to finance. The city was approved to borrow $553,000 at 3.25 percent interest through Clare Bank in Shullsburg. The remaining $68,000 would be used as a contingency for the project. Chyko said a 10 percent contingency was already included in the bid.
“It’s a big jump for the community, taxpayers, employees, everyone involved,” Lethlean said.
Morrissey and Spillane both commented on the price of the project, saying it was higher than they thought it was going to be.
“It’s higher than what it would have been when it should have been done,” alderman Jim Paquette said.
“And it’s less than it will be if you wait,” said alderman Carl Ballard. “With the investment in land and engineering and so forth, we need to move forward now.”
The new garage should be completed by early April. Chyko said the contractor had no concerns about completing the project on time.
The construction of the new salt shed, a 32- by 32-foot building, will cost $66,634. That cost was included in the bid.