Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, May 21, 2001

McLeod Co. Rd. 1 construction to start within a month

By Patrice Waldron

Construction Engineer Bill Johnson of BRW, Inc. addressed the Winsted City Council Tuesday about the upcoming McLeod County Road 1 construction project.

Project bids were opened May 1, with the low bidder being William Mueller & Sons, Inc. with a bid of $973,700.72. Other bids were received by Bauerly Bros., Inc. ($1,016,323.48) and Dunnick Bros., Inc. ($1,139,960.69).

A combination of federal, state, county, and city funds will be used to pay for the construction costs of the project. The city's portion of the bill is estimated at $54,374.14.

Johnson reported that stage one of the project, extending from Main Avenue to Linden Avenue is set to begin Monday, June 11.

This date was set so that construction wouldn't start until after Winstock. Substantial completion of this stage should be accomplished by Sept. 17.

Stage two of the project will extend from Linden Ave to the Wright County line. The bulk of the construction of this stage should be completed by Dec. 31.

Separate road closures and detours will be required during construction.

Another item Johnson addressed was an addendum to the design services agreement with the City of Winsted.

There is a process involved called the delegated contract process (DCP).

The DCP allows for expedited review and approval by Mn/DOT during planning, design, and award. The process also saves time and money during the project construction phase by reducing documentation and certification costs, explained Johnson.

The cost involved for these additional services is approximately $17,888. Rick Kjonaas, McLeod County Engineer, has approved the cost estimate, and stated that the county would pay 100 percent of the costs involved.

Questions from the council members were related to curb and gutter fees.

The total cost for the curb and gutter installation was estimated at $51,000. The cost was about $26.39 per meter, which is a reasonable amount for this type of Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) average bid price, said Johnson.

"Approval should be contingent on bids from McLeod and Mn/DOT," said Johnson.

The council approved awarding the project bid to William Mueller and Sons, Inc. and the addendum for expediting the federal aid process.

2000 audit

Paul Harvego, certified public accountant of the accounting firm Fawcett, Young and Associates, gave an account of the audit of the City of Winsted for the year which ended Dec. 31, 2000.

The general purpose financial statements of the City of Winsted are the responsibility of the City of Winsted's management, said Harvego. The auditor's job is to express an opinion on the statements, based on the audit performed.

When examining the figures, the city's general fund was about $24,000 higher than in 1999.

Although the fund showed an increase, it was thought that there was not enough money in reserve. The accounting firm recommends that six months worth of expenditures be kept in ready reserve. That amount would be equal to about $580,000.

"You do need to try to build the fund balance back up," said Harvego.

One area that was noted as an expenditure was the approximate $40,000 spent on legal fees on the old city hall issue. This expense will not occur again, nor would the expense of the park equipment, or the forestry costs. Not having these one-time expenditures will help raise the fund balance.

Most things were found to consistent from one year to the next.

The airport fund was found to be about even.

In the fire department fund, there was deficit spending because of capital outlay for equipment.

When the sewer and water rates were discussed, Harvego stated that he hears complaints about sewer and water rates no matter where he goes.

He recommended that the rates remain the same because the water and sewer funds will fund future treatment facilities, and the city's infrastructure, the maintenance of water lines, broken lines, and more.

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