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City of Pelican Rapids




The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in continued session from 07-29-08, at 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, 08-05-08, in Council Chambers, City Hall.  Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Ben Woessner, Richard Peterson and John E. Waller, III were present.  Council Member David Gottenborg was absent.  Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, City Attorney Greg Larson, Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier, Engineer Pat Reisnour, Don Cole of West Central Turkeys, LLC and Kelley Gorman of the Pelican Rapids Press were also present.


Mayor Runningen reconvened the meeting at 5:00 p.m.


Administrator Don Solga reviewed the Water Plant Control Improvement Project. Bids were received on 06-10-08 and Northern Plains Contracting was the low bidder at $254,500.  Motion by Woessner, seconded by Waller to accept the bid and award the contract to Northern Plains Contracting by introducing the following resolution, entitled RESOLUTION ACCEPTING BID & AWARDING THE CONTRACT FOR WATER TREATMENT PLANT IMPROVEMENT FOR CONTROLS AND DISINFECTION, PELICAN RAPIDS, MINNESOTA.  (A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s Office.) Motion passed unanimously and resolution declared duly adopted.


Regarding Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Improvements for Phosphorous Management, Engineer Pat Reisnour will lay out four options available to the City Council:  Award Contract with changes to the lagoon aeration; Reject Bids and Re-Bid; Alternate Technologies and Spray Irrigation.


Administrator Don Solga shared information that the City received notification from an attorney for Rice Lake Contracting regarding the filing of a lawsuit against the City of Pelican Rapids depending on award of WWTF contract based on ambiguous language in bid documents regarding determination of method of calculating low bidder.  Rice Lake Contracting is seeking an injunction to require that the City either rebid project or award contract to Rice Lake Contracting.


Administrator Don Solga discussed Option 1 - Award Contract without Alternates and with change order to eliminate aeration.  Pros:  Possible $250K Savings, Savings on aeration at the lagoon, faster time line.  Cons:  Savings on aeration are unknown; No back-up generator, Legal action and injunction against the City could delay project and force re-bid.  Mayor Runningen discussed awarding contract and re-bidding the primary clarifier alternate.


Engineer Reisnour discussed Option 2 - Reject Bids and Re-Bid.  Pros:  Aeration costs known due to rebidding as an alternate; No legal issue; Gives us an opportunity to correct bid forms; Will lower overall project costs but may increase individual component costs. Cons: Slower time line; Will cut operating time to meet requirements; Costs could be higher.


Engineer Reisnour discussed Options 3 and 4 - Reject Bids and Explore Alternate Technologies and/or Spray Irrigation:  Pros:  May have lower costs; No legal issues.  Cons:  May cost as much; Requires Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approval of an extension with fees of $10,000 to $20,000 and conditions;  Will incur more consulting fees with additional engineering costs; If we go to something else, we have to pay Interstate Engineering approximately $300,000 for work to date; Risk involved in trying newer technologies.  Administrator Don Solga said, “I don’t think this is a viable option due to expenses.”


Public Finance Authority (PFA) money is set aside for City but technical changes must be approved by MPCA.  If changes result in costs that exceed the $7.3 Million PFA loan money set aside for this project, the City will need to find other funding sources for additional expenses.


City Attorney Greg Larson said that Rice Lake Contracting’s position is that the terms and conditions of the bid instructions were ambiguous.  Whether or not the terms are ultimately determined to be ambiguous or not, the presence of the variation between the bidding instructions and bid form would likely be sufficient in order for Rice Lake to continue with legal action against the City.  If bids are rejected, the City needs to identify very specific findings about costs and pending litigation which could delay the project.


Council Member Woessner said high costs are his main concern.


Pat Reisnour said if the bids are rejected, the information contained in the bids is private data except the information provided at the bid opening.


Don Cole of West Central Turkeys, LLC, said he’s thinking to re-bid.  A benefit of rebidding is to separate the lagoon aeration as an alternate.


Motion by Woessner, seconded by Waller to reject the bids because the price is too high.  Motion passed unanimously.  Administrator Don Solga pointed out that rejecting the bids and rebidding the project will allow modifications that reduce the scope of the project.


Council discussed separate alternates to bid.  Council Member Peterson requested that Engineer Pat Reisnour bid the aeration for the lagoons in the same way that the tank was bid as an alternate. 


Council directed Engineer Reisnour to correct language to reflect total of alternatives selected added to base bid will determine the low bid.  Alternates will include a back-up generator.  Package B will be separate for a 1 million gallon tank.  A vacuum bubble aeration system and diffuser based aeration will be separate bid package C.


Administrator Don Solga said Council will need to authorize Interstate Engineering to do plans and specs and authorize advertising for re-bids and establish the bid opening date. If ad is published on 8-18-08, and advertised for three weeks, the bid opening could be 9-11-08 at 2:00 p.m.


Motion by Peterson, seconded by Waller to authorize Patrick Reisnour of Interstate Engineering to do plans and specs for WWTF Improvements for Phosphorous Management Re-Bid, authorize alternate for back-up generators; bid package B for 1 Million gallon tank and bid package C for a vacuum bubble aeration system and diffuser aeration.  Motion passed unanimously.


Administrator Don Solga and Engineer Pat Reisnour discussed the bill for engineering.  The $247,000 contract is completed and the bill will be provided to the City in September when the PFA funds are available.  Interstate Engineering, Inc. is proceeding on a time and materials basis and will provide a cost estimate to finish this project.


Engineer Reisnour commented that Rice Lake Construction Group had a non-responsive bid on the back-up generator alternate.


Motion by Peterson, seconded by Woessner to adjourn the meeting at 6:40 p.m.  Motion passed unanimously.



Glenys Ehlert, CMC




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