Tornado shelter bids come in high

A storm shelter planned for the north side of Flandreau will cost more than expected with bids coming in higher than budgeted.
The lowest bid exceeds the budget by $20,000, said Jeff Pederson, city administrator. He is looking for ways to bring the costs down.
The lowest bidder overall, including an alternative for a west-side sidewalk and steps at the shelter at Prospect and Henry was Clark Drew Construction of Brookings with a bid of $239,375, including $16,475 for the sidewalk and steps.
The lowest bidder for the base bid, not including sidewalks and steps, is F.R.S. Inc., doing business as Solbros Construction in Pierre. That company’s bid was $231,000 for the base, but adding in the alternatives of $14,000 it was slightly more expensive that the Brookings company.
Two local contractors bid the project out of six total bids received. Pulscher Brothers Inc. bid $256,500, and Allen Construction bid $271, 320 on the base bid, the highest bid received.
Having a tornado image on the building raises the price but is a quick identifier of what the building is used for, Pederson said.
Alderman Don Whitman said he would like to see the signage kept as part of the project if possible. “The tornado says something to me,” he said.
The issue was tabled until the next meeting.
The project is being paid for with a 75 percent matching grant from the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management. The remainder will be the city’s responsibility.
In other business,
•Pederson and council members are putting together a task force of citizens and council members to look at the city appearance codes when it comes to how properties should be maintained and groomed. The task force will review whether codes are still relevant.
The task force will include between seven and nine volunteers, including council members Bob Pesall, Jason Unger and Karen Tufty. Community names will be available by the next council meeting.
“We’re trying to diversify this group to improve the city of Flandreau,” said Mayor Mark Bonrud.
•The Flandreau Fire Department has purchased new equipment for seven fire fighters and has seven others yet to transition out of the old gear, said Chief Jud Krull.
Krull said it’s also time to start thinking about growth in the department.
“I’d like to start talking about a new hall,” he said, adding that the department redid its kitchen with its own money. “These trucks are getting so big, we’re almost maxed out with what we have.”
The department has fought two house fires recently, one in Flandreau and one in Trent.
The Flandreau fire, across the street from the fire department building, was caused by an electrical incident with an extension cord, he said.
•The city has hired two new police officers to fill vacancies from resignations.
Gabriel Frias, a Moody County dispatcher, has been hired with a starting pay of $16.24 an hour.
Frias has not been a certified officer before, lives in Flandreau and is bilingual with fluency in Spanish.
Anthony Garcia is a certified police officer and is expected to be the new K-9 officer with the drug dog. His pay will be $19.91 an hour.
•The city has hired a physical education teacher as its new summer rec director. Josh Edlund will take over the spot that had previously been filled by Lori Kneebone.
Edlund is a health and physical education teacher at the Flandreau Pubic School and is an assistant coach for football and track.
•Michelle Ten Eyck will return for a fourth summer as the Aquatic Center Manager. She will earn $6,795 for the season.
•The Flandreau Sesquicentennial committee plans to host a yard of the week competition beginning in May as an effort to beautify the community before the 150th birthday celebration. Eight yards will be chosen, with judging done by the Athena Club. Prizes will be Flandreau Bucks.
The city is looking for other ideas on ways to clean up the town before the event, which is expected to bring in thousands of people.


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