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Stewart to call for bids on $4.25 million project

The Stewart City Council approved calling for bids for its $4.25 million street and infrastructure improvement project following a public hearing Monday night.
Andy Kehren, an engineer for Bolton & Menk, said the information presented at the hearing on the proposed improvements was very similar to one held in January 2016.
The project went out for bids in 2016, but the City Council ended up rejecting them because no funding was forthcoming from the Public Facility Authority (PFA) because the state legislature did not pass a bonding bill, which funds the PFA grant and low-interest loan programs.
“We received some nice, competitive bids, but we couldn’t do the work because the PFA was not funded for the year,” said Kehren.
Happily, Kehren said, the PFA funding has now been approved, and the city has qualified for over $2.6 million in grant funding to put toward the $4.245 million project.
“It’s a very favorable grant-to-loan ratio,” said Kehren. He said the city also is getting low-interest loans, which will be paid back through a combination of utility revenues and general obligation bonds funding.
But there is a caveat — the grant money must be used this year for this specific project, or the city will need to forfeit it. That is why, Kehren said, it is hoped that the city again receives favorable bids.
For more from the Stewart City Council meeting, see the Feb. 14 print edition of The Chronicle.