At tonight’s Pella City Council meeting – the first with the new earlier start time of 6 p.m. – councilors are slated to hold a public hearing to approve the plans, specifications, and apparent low bid for the East Interchange Improvements Project.
The project will involve the construction of a sanitary sewer lift station and force main at the eastern-most interchange on Iowa Highway 163 in anticipation of the Lely North America headquarters project that is already underway to the south. The apparent low bidder for the work was Synergy Contracting of Altoona with a bid of $696,709.
The engineer’s estimate for the project was $819,310. Eight companies – all based in Iowa – bid on the project. Veenstra & Kimm, the city’s engineering consultant, said this was due to the lack of backlog for many underground contractors due to the unusually warm start to winter this year.
It is anticipated the project will begin in early March with final completion scheduled for Sept. 1, based on a 180-calendar-day schedule.
The City Council is also slated to once again address the official designation of a newspaper of record for 2021. As has been previously reported, the city’s legal counsel has determined the Oskaloosa Herald does not meet the minimum requirements to have such a designation, while the Des Moines Register does.
The Pella Chronicle ceased operations in May and its staff was merged with the Herald’s staff. The Knoxville Journal was similarly terminated last year. Both the City of Knoxville and Marion County have designated only The Register as an official newspaper of record for 2021.
As a web-only news outlet Pella News cannot meet the minimum requirements to be an official newspaper of record. However, it has offered to publish public notices free of charge to city officials, who have not yet accepted the offer.
Councilors will also be asked to consider:
- the appointment of Eric Recker, a private pilot who owns Recker Dental Care in Pella, to the Airport Committee;
- the approval of liquor license renewals for Pella Opera House, The Cellar Peanut Pub, Fareway, and the Washington Street Casey’s store;
- a resolution to approve the construction contract with Excel Utility Contractors to install the outside drop services for the Pella Fiber network in the city;
- a resolution setting a public hearing date of March 2 for the Kiwanis Park improvements project’s first phase, which has an estimated cost of $1,120,500; and
- a resolution setting a public hearing date of March 2 for a proposed amendment to the Lely Urban Renewal Plan at an additional cost of nearly $600,000.
The meeting will conclude with a closed session under Iowa Code Chapter 388.9(1) to “discuss marketing and pricing strategies or proprietary information of a city utility.” The entire meeting will be held electronically due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. To participate in the public portion, click HERE or call (720) 650-5050 and enter the code 962389622# to listen over the phone.
For more news and information – “just about Pella” – visit www.pella-news.com.