In the latest City Commission Meeting held on Monday, commissioners heard discussion on awarding a construction bid for a new sanitation equipment storage facility.
The Department of Public Works recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) regarding the construction of an 8-bay equipment storage building. Primarily designed to house the new automated side-load (ASL) packer trucks, this facility is slated for construction at the east end of the General Services yard. The project necessitated the demolition of the old Quonset storage building and the relocation of salt spreader racks. In addition to accommodating six ASL trucks, the new building will replace storage space for the Streets work group lost during the Quonset building demolition. The facility will boast a wash bay and a mechanics' pit for the new trucks.
Preparatory work for the construction includes the demolition of the Quonset hut storage building, relocation of salt spreader racks, approval of a variance for building setback by the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the issuance of a Building Permit Certificate.
The initial cost estimate, presented during the City Commission study session on November 22, 2021, was $375,000. This comprised $80,000 for the materials package, $225,000 for various construction elements, $60,000 for salt rack relocation, and $10,000 for Quonset hut demolition. Architectural fees were not included initially, as a prefabricated design was considered. However, upon further evaluation, a revised estimate of $540,000 was presented on September 19, 2022, which included $27,250 for architectural fees.
Bids for the project were opened on October 18, 2023, with Ponton Construction emerging as the lowest bidder at $812,242. The local contractor has a successful history of completing projects for the City of Salina.
The increase in building costs is attributed to continuous inflation in construction labor and materials costs over the past 1-2 years. Given the unpredictability of market prices, staff recommends awarding the bid to Ponton Construction, Inc.
The Sanitation fund currently projects a year-end balance of $1.6 million, with a recommended target fund balance of $500,000. The surplus at the end of 2023 is estimated at $850,000, with additional growth expected in 2024.
Options for funding the construction include bonding $375,000 and paying the remainder from the Sanitation fund balance, bonding the full $812,242, or paying the entire amount from the reserve Sanitation fund balance. The City opted to approve an increased target fund balance to $750,000 and authorized the low-base bid and add-alternate 1 bid for the new Sanitation building. The City Manager is now authorized to execute a contract with Ponton Construction, Inc., funding the project from cash reserves in the Sanitation fund. The motion was approved 4-0, with Mayor Hoppock absent from the meeting.