By Linda Scherer
When entering the City of Winsted, watch for its new entry signs.
The first of four new signs is up at Southview Park just off of McLeod County Road 9 on the southeast part of town.
Each of the other three signs is to be placed at different entry points in Winsted.
Two signs will be located by McLeod County Road 1, one on the south end (by what was once known as the Lueck farm), and another on the north end of town (by what was once known as the Baird farm). The other sign is to be located on the northeast side of town by McLeod County Road 6 and Zion Avenue.
Mayor Steve Stotko said the city is grateful for Millerbernd Design and Fabrication making and donating the signs, and to Herald Journal for the signage.
Construction update given on new city hall and lakefront promenade
City Administrator Brent Mareck had put together a construction schedule that would have Greystone Construction wrapping up the entire project for the city hall and lakefront promenade by Monday, Sept. 8.
A six-page punch list of items is to be worked on the first week of September. By Labor Day, the city is hoping to have the light poles ready for installation.
Council Member Dave Mochinski told the council he had doubts the project would be completed before winter.
“I think they (Greystone Construction) are just dragging their feet too much. They are not in any hurry to get this project done, and I think we have to change something,” Mochinski said.
Mareck told the council the city is holding back 5 percent of all of payments made to Greystone Construction on projects completed.
In addition, Greystone had made a $300,000 pay request the same day as the council meeting, but it was not ready in time to get approval by the council and will be held until the Tuesday, Sept. 2 meeting.
“One question I think a lot of people have asked is why there isn’t a penalty clause. We considered it, but the circumstances at the time made it difficult,” Mareck said.
He gave two reasons for leaving out a penalty clause. The first, was with a penalty clause, there is usually a clause that benefits the contractor, as well, should they finish before the scheduled date.
The second reason was the city didn’t really have a start date for the project. It wanted to start in June 2007 but the funding wasn’t ready until September 2007.
Council Member Tom Ollig suggested having Greystone Construction appear before the council at its Sept 2 meeting, if there is still construction work to be completed.
The council agreed with Ollig’s suggestion.
An upcoming project the city will need to follow through on will be three rain gardens that are to be part of the lakefront promenade but were taken out of the contract. The city will take the responsibility for completing them.
The rain garden plants will be purchased by the city, and it is hoping to work with the Winsted Lake Watershed Association to get the gardens planted.
City hall and lakefront project under budget
Mareck also presented an updated budget for the city hall and lakefront promenade.
“There are quite a few change orders in this project, and I think there are some rumors around town that the change orders are budget overruns and the project is hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over budget. That is not the case. We are getting to the point of meeting the (contingency) budget number of $509,953, but we are also getting to the end of the project. We are doing everything we can to keep that under budget,” Mareck said.
Included in the contingency budget were special inspections completed by the STS consultants who inspected steel and concrete, charges for winter conditions, miscellaneous engineering, legal overruns, underground utilities, burying the overhead utilities, and the lake bank expense.
A total in expenses of $457,711 has been spent of the $509,953 contingency budget leaving a balance of $52,242.
The second part of the budget Mareck presented were costs taken from the capital equipment certificate which totaled $223,500.
Items purchased from this fund were computers, office furnishings, telephones, outdoor furnishings, flags, racking and other supplies.
Of the $223,500 capital equipment certificate, $209,019 has been spent leaving a balance of $14,481.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• appointed Mary Wiemiller and Francis Condon as temporary, part-time employees at an hourly rate of $8 to serve as election judges for the primary election, Sept. 9, and/or the general election Nov. 4.
• appointed Wayne Schumann to the position of probationary firefighter.
• appointed Brady Tormanen, Todd Koch, Mitch Wittmer, Cody Krause, Justin Hertzog, and Jamie Stender full-time firefighters.
• authorized Xcel Energy to install a street light on Westgate Drive at a cost of $3,075.
• approved Greystone Construction installing additional sidewalk at the amphitheater in Mill Reserve Park at a cost of $5,192. This amount was accounted for in dollars already spent out of the contingency budget.
• authorized Greystone Construction to provide additional demolition and paving work for the lakefront promenade at a cost of $17,584. This expense was already included in the expenses that have come from funds in the contingency budget.
• authorized the purchase of outdoor furnishings for the lakefront promenade. The furnishings will be placed behind the new city hall and the south plaza of the promenade. The purchase cost $12,311 was funded out of the capital equipment certificate and was included in the total dollars already spent.
• approved an easement agreement for a Winsted entrance sign with Midwest Capital Properties at a cost of $500; an easement agreement for a Winsted entrance sign with Mike and Sally Fiecke for $500; and a 50 year lease agreement for a Winsted entrance sign with Winsted Properties LLC for $500.