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NYM City Council approves plans and specs for 2009 street projects

The city council Tuesday gave the go-ahead for Ulteig Engineers to prepare plans and specifications for the proposed 2009 utility and street rehabilitation project.

The project includes the New York Mills streets of Gilman, Hayes, Walker, Van Aernam, Nowell and Frazee.

Total estimated cost of the project is $2.3 million.

The council approved the plans and specs after Jon Pratt of Ulteig Engineers informed the city of some good funding news related to the project.

Pratt attended a rural water conference where he learned of PFA, MPCA, and Department of Health funding opportunities.

With the federal stimulus money, PFA will award base grants to cities that apply to help pay for infrastructure improvements.

Pratt said he feels New York Mills could receive around $150,000 in grants. Additional funding may also be available to communities that meet certain criteria. Pratt told the council he feels NY Mills may qualify for additional funding based on the city's debt load from previous sewer projects - particularly the $4 million wastewater treatment facility upgrade.

"In general this is some pretty good news," Pratt said.

He also told the council the bidding climate for construction projects, like what the city is planning this summer, is looking pretty favorable right now.

PFA, historically, is an up-front funding agency, Pratt said. Once the city awards the bids the grant funds will likely be put in an account, where the city would be able to draw funds from that account and pay as the project goes

"I think we have quite an opportunity to grab some of that stimulus money," Mayor Larry Hodgson said. "I like what I heard about the grants, and the likelihood of additional grants.".

Sealed bids will be received by the city until April 10, at which time they will be publicly opened and read aloud for furnishing all labor, materials, and all else necessary for the construction of the 2009 Street and Utility Rehabilitation.

Once the bids are awarded, the contract specifies the project must be substantially complete by Oct. 15, 2009 and entirely completed by July 1, 2010.