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Commissioners select contractor for Streetscape

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POLSON —The Polson City Commissioners awarded the bid for the Streetscape project to LHC, Inc. at their meeting on July 19 at 7 p.m. The motion is contingent upon final approval for Community Transportation Enhancement Program funds. The Kalispell firm’s bid was $1,602,193.68. 

City Engineer Shari Johnson said the LHC, Inc. bid came in eight percent under expectations. Johnson said the project will include reconstruction of the majority of the sidewalks, installing water service lines, repaving the streets, providing pedestrian lighting and a pedestrian crossing with new striping, buying larger trees and landscape preparation at the corners.

Streetscape Committee person Becky Dupuis presented the financial piece of the project. A sum of $50,000 from the sidewalk fund was used for design work and was originally slated to be repaid to the SID. The Streetscape Committee asked that the $50,000 be forgiven so the full SID amount can be used for construction purposes and an additional $50,000 from the sidewalk fund be dedicated to the Streetscape project. 

Lake County Commissioners agreed to loan the project $100,000 of the county’s CTEP funds and donated an additional $25,000 in CTEP money. The $100,000 loan would be repaid by using the next five years of the city’s CTEP monies. An additional $100,000 would be raised with a Tax Increment Finance bond. 

Installing only half the pedestrian lights would eliminate a $41,637 shortfall in the project. The lights could be added back into the project using leftover contingency funds, value engineering money and/or additional donations.

Discussion among the commissioners centered on whether or not all the sidewalks should be torn out and replaced. 

“I don’t like patch jobs and that’s what it’s going to be,” Commissioner Mike Lies commented.

Referring to the sidewalk in front of the Elks Lodge #1695 and HealthCare Plus Medical Equipment Commissioner, Judy Preston said, “ But it’s wasteful to tear it out.” 

The commissioners also voted to hire THINC as inspector for $29,925.

“A full time, professional inspector is the eyes and ears of an engineer,” Johnson explained.   

In other business, a well drilled across the street from a proposed city well site has come up with a heavy iron content. Commissioners did not consider an agenda item to purchase the proposed lot until more information is received. 

City Manager Todd Crossett said the city staff is working on finalizing a draft budget, but they haven’t got numbers from Lake County. The city might not have a final budget until the end of September. 

The next city commissioners meeting will be held on Aug. 2 at 7 p.m.

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