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July 16, 2008 6:05 pm

City should move forward with pool

Written by Tribune Staff

City officials have a big decision to make regarding the aquatic center.
Designer/architect Burbach Aquatics' recommendation that the city reject all aquatic center construction bids didn't come as a surprise.
Burbach expressed disappointment in receiving only four bids, despite the company's efforts to drum up interest.
The lowest-cost base bid was 15 percent higher than what Burbach budgeted in January.
Burbach concedes that much of the increased cost correlates directly to rapidly-escalating energy costs.
But, at this stage, and with public support dwindling, the city would make a mistake to follow Burbach's recommendation. It's unrealistic to think that energy and materials costs will begin a downward trend. In fact, many entities are budgeting for huge increases in construction costs in the next fiscal year.
A re-bid of the project would not be a guarantee that bids would be lower. What if even fewer contractors bid?
Burbach's proposed schedule for re-bidding the project shows a mid-September bid opening.
At this point, time is money.
The city would be better served to accept the low bid from Sletten Construction — a local company — and work with it to determine what adjustments can bring the project closer to budget.
Sletten is ready to begin work, and the public is running out of patience.
It's time to get this ball rolling.