Project re-bid raises costs

By Hank Lohmeyer


A re-bidding of the Main Street Enhancement Project has come in with higher than expected costs requiring the town to try another change to keep the long-delayed project alive.

Trustees on Aug. 17 agreed to an additional $43,805 for the project and will delay naming a low bidder pending the certainty of grant money for the project.

The beautification work planned for but never begun at the corner of West Main Street and Grand Mesa Drive has bogged down in numerous procedural and administrative problems. Trustee Dayton Myers said the project has dragged on for six years, the entire time he has served on the town board. Myers has voted against continuing with the project previously, but voted in favor of the latest change.

Trustee Patricia Michael has voted against proceeding with the project on two occasions, including last week's vote.

Mayor pro tem Ray Hanson said that the reason he supported the project originally was for grant dollars to help build a sidewalk from downtown to the elementary school.

Trustee Al Smith called the Main Street Enhancement Project "A no-win deal."

If the project is dropped now, it will cost the town some $90,000 in cash paybacks for CDOT funds received and subsequently spent on engineering costs, and also including some of its own cash the town has spent, according to the town board's discussion

If the town ends up losing the money already spent and gets no project out of it, "All three of us [the Town of Cedaredge, CDOT, and engineers] will be getting the bad press," said town administrator Katie Sickles.

According to trustee comments at last week's meeting there is still a risk that even if last wee's contract change is approved by CDOT that yet more costs could be added by additional engineering services and/or construction change orders. The town is trying to lessen that risk by delaying naming of a low bidder until grant funds for the work are certain. Mayor Gene Welsh said that risk is still worth taking for the chance to get a project funded with up to 80 percent federl dollars.

The changes in the project approved by the town board last week bring the project budget to $93,355 for design with $331,700 available for construction, a total of $425,055, according to town documents.

An amendment approved by the town board recently provided for "$93,355 design with $287,895 available for construction, a total of $381,250."

Cedaredge originally agreed to total design and construction funds of $381,250 for the Main Street and Highway 65 Enhancement Project with 80 percent federal funds of $305,000, and 20 percent town matching funds of $76,250. The original project budget was $59,855 for design with $321,395 available for construction, a total of $381,250, according to town documents.