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Brownton council displeased with another delay in project

The Brownton City Council was displeased to learn that its proposed $8.4 million street and utility improvement project may not be going out for bids in a timely manner.
The council heard at its Tuesday, Jan. 2, meeting that the final plans and specifications had not been approved until Dec. 20 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program, which is providing much of the funding for the project through low-interest loans and grants.
Chris Knutson of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), Inc., the city’s engineering firm, said he had expected to have an advertisement for bids ready for approval for the Jan. 2 meeting. However, he said, because of the delay, the City Council may have to have a special meeting, or approve the bid advertisement at its February meeting.
Council Member Tim Olson said he was concerned with how late the process was getting. The best contractors, he said, are already lining up their spring and summer 2018 jobs.
“We could end up with third or fourth best contractors,” said Olson. “I don’t think we want to go down that road.”
For more from the City Council meeting, see the Jan. 10 print edition of The Chronicle.