Osage City Lake dredging bids resubmitted

OSAGE CITY—After receiving just two bids which greatly exceeded engineer’s estimates, the Osage City Council voted last week to send the lake restoration project “back to the drawing board.”

Bids reviewed during the May 28 meeting were 71 and 170 percent higher than the anticipated cost of the project. Nine contractors had requested plans, but only two submitted final bids.

The council opened new business June 11 with the official rejection of those bids. Randy Root, of Burns and McDonnell, told the council the higher bids reflected risk involved with mechanically removing the dirt, opposed to hydraulic dredging.

“Based on conversation with both bidders, excavation is higher,” Root said. “There is a higher risk of driving the dirt out, and if it rains, they have to pump that out. That risk increases your cost.”

The hydraulic dredging doesn’t require the emptying of the lake, and would use Geotubes to remove moisture from the sludge. The project calls for removing 100,000 cubic yards of sediment.

“When it comes time to haul, you just scoop it up and put it in a truck,” said Osage City Utilities Director Mike Gilliland. “The hauling is 50 to 60 percent more efficient. In the bids, for just hauling the soil, one bid exceed $500,000, the other was almost $1.3 million. It’s a huge item.”

Gilliland also noted by working hydraulically, the city would also be able to keep some of its reserve water supply.

The council moved to authorize the engineer to redo specifications on the project and resubmit the project for bids.

USD 420 Superintendent Troy Hutton updated the council on the status of the school district’s facilities improvement project. The project includes remodeling and expansion at the schools, as well as construction of a new track and field on property leased from the city.

Hutton updated the council on plans to expand the concessions area and bathrooms attached to the community building, and said the building would be available for use during the fair.

In other business, the council:

• continued discussion of the long-term strategic plan, including assigning responsible agencies and measures for each section.

• approved the low bid from Midwest Coating to repair the roof over Engine No. 5 at the city power plant, for $12,876.72.

•  set up a budget work session for 7 p.m. June 18.

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