Council approves 11th Street N. project and Community Building project bids

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

At Tuesday night's St. James City Council meeting, the council approved two project bids for upcoming work this spring and summer.

The council approved a bid from Dirt Merchant for the 11th Street N. project for $1.968 million, slightly over the estimated $1.83 million.

The council received five bids. The top two bids were within $20,000 of each other, and the top four bids were within $200,000.

"Based on past performance on similar projects, we feel that Dirt Merchant is qualified to perform the work under this contract," said Adam Jacobs of Bolton & Menk.

The project is projected to be completed in mid-September of 2021.

The council also shifted various funds into the 2021 budget, including funds from the caboose and pool projects that were scheduled to be completed last summer.

The council held initial discussions on summer garage sales. A first reading of the ordinance is expected to be ready at the next city council meeting. 

The council also approved a bid from St. James Electric for a new heating system in the Community Building, as the building continues to get updated.

The bid for St. James Electric came in at $27,000 for restoring the existing ductwork with spray foam and water sealant and repellant for seams and cracks. Jason Monnens said that St. James Electric believes the integrity of the existing ductwork is still strong.

City Manager Amanda Glass shared news that the state received the grant application for the Ring Rd. project, but due to a large amount of bids, the city likely will not hear back until the summer.

COVID-19 payments from the federal government are expected in May or June. Estimates are that each city will receive $100 per capita, so St. James would be the beneficiary of $500,000.

The city has until December 31, 2024, to spend the money. This round of COVID-19 relief has fewer restrictions than the prior round of funding.

The funds can be used for items that were waived in 2020, or for sewer, water, or broadband projects. 

The only requirement is that funds are used for necessary investments. 

The next St. James City Council meeting is scheduled for April 6. 

Other items:

- business license- CMR Plumbing & Construction, LLC.

- transfer funds to close out industrial park project

- transfer bonds funds

- transfer funds to create new stormwater fund- $32,219.21

- generator extended warranty

- quote for water valve and meter replacement- Minnesota Mechanical

- new hire: Aidan Bartels- police officer

- safety program agreement- Safe Assure 

- drugs and alcohol service agreement- FS Solutions