WARSAW — A rebidding effort for the future Buffalo Street plaza saw more interested companies than before, but the new bids came in higher.
Officials had estimated the cost of the plaza, which would include a fountain, a large piece of art and a seating area overlooking Center Lake, would be around $1.85 million.
A single bid received by the city in June by R. Yoder Construction, Nappanee, offered to do the work for $1,996,692.
City Plan Director Jeremy Skinner blamed part of the high cost and the lack of other bids on a strong economy and demand for construction projects.
On Friday, the Board of Works and Safety opened three new bids and all three were higher than the first. Those included:
R. Yoder Construction, of Nappanee, for $2,267,917
Selge Construction, of Niles, Mich., for $2,511,264
Hamilton Construction, of Indianapolis, for $3.236,502
Skinner took the bids under advisement but sounded disappointed after the meeting. The new twist, he said, is “terrible.”
“I’m not surprised. From what I’m hearing every bid for every project is coming in way higher. I don’t know if it’s a labor issue, a project issue, all the above, (or) the cost of doing business. I know the county just rejected a bridge bid for the second time because it was too high,” Skinner said.
The plaza is part of the Buffalo Street redevelopment project, which is in the initial stage of construction of homes by developer David Matthews of South Bend. A multi-story mixed-use building by Matthews is also part of the development.
The plaza will be east of Nye Park and will tie into other improvements along the beach, including a boardwalk.
In another matter, the board of works approved plans to use a new vendor to supply software that will allow the city to track the location of many street department vehicles.
An agreement with another vendor for the same service was voided because it did not work properly. That was part of a citywide radio purchase. The new agreement with Envue Telematics, of Longview, Texas, is expected to be a few hundred dollars cheaper, said Jeff Beeler, superintendent of public works.
About 25 trucks, primarily garbage and snowplow trucks, will be fitted with the equipment that will allow the city to track the paths of its vehicles. The program will help improve efficiency and could also be useful if a claim against the city is made suggesting their vehicle caused property damage, Beeler said.
The board approved an appropriation for the new contract for $11,925. Beeler said they might not need all of that, depending on the necessary parts for specific trucks.