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Water tower bids come in $400,000 over estimates

Economic factors from around the globe are affecting Main Street Perham--and it isn't only at the gas pump.

It will cost $400,000 more than anticipated to build a new, million gallon tank water tower in the city of Perham.

Reason: Steel costs have risen 50 percent in less than two years, largely due to foreign demand--particularly in China.

That was the assessment from Chris Thorson, engineer with Ulteig, the city's engineering firm. Ulteig's estimate, prior to the bidding process, was about $1.4 million.

But the winning bid, which was approved by the Perham City Council July 14, was $1.88 million.

The tank and tower will be constructed by CB and I, an Illinois firm. Also bidding on the project were Kentucky and Texas firms, with bids of $2.04 and $2.12 million.

With engineering fees, the total project cost for the tank and tower is $2.15 million.

The immense, one million gallon tank is all steel--which is the main reason for the higher than anticipated bid. The pedestal will be constructed from concrete.

As a comparison, Perham's present tower is 500,000 gallons--half the size of the proposed tower.

New water tower will tower over Arvig Park

The tower will be built on the east side of Arivg Park, north and west of the Blossoms, Birds and Beyond garden center in northeast Perham.

Foundation work will be completed in late fall, with remaining construction completed from April to October of 2009. The tower is expected to be completed by Oct. 10, 2009.

Industrial and residential growth in Perham has prompted the need for the major expansion of the municipal water system. To complete the expansion, new well facilities will be constructed as well--at an estimated $320,000.

City saves money on lift station bids

The Perham council had good financial news on another project, however. The winning bid for construction of wastewater lift stations came in more than $100,000 below estimates, reported Ulteig engineer Jade Berube.

Seven firms bid on the project, which was estimated originally at about $430,000.

The closest firm to Perham, geographically speaking, turned out to be the winner: Feldt's Plumbing out of the Frazee-Detroit Lakes area. The firm's bid was $322,471, which includes the lift stations and a portable generator.

The variation in the bids was wide. Kramer Excavating, out of Watkins, Minnesota, bid the project at $716,492--nearly $400,000 more than the winning bid.

Sellin Brothers of Hawley entered the second-place bid, at $389,280.