Grab your shovels

Cd'A City Council approves McEuen construction deal

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COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene is ready to move dirt.

The City Council approved a $1.16 million contract with ACI Northwest Inc., Tuesday evening to begin construction work on McEuen Field later this month.

The contract, which only covers a fraction of the overall work McEuen Field is expected to undergo, was approved 4 votes to 3 - exactly the result almost every vote tied to the park has shaped up this year.

The contract with the Coeur d'Alene-based company calls for parking lot and excavation work, and was the lowest of the four bids the city received, around $440,000 less than the $1.56 million originally budgeted.

"I hope that continues to happen," said Deanna Goodlander, city council member on receiving the lower-than-expected bid.

Work includes putting a parking lot south of City Hall, as well as excavating McEuen Field. While the parking lot portion of the project would be the first step toward turning dirt on McEuen Field's redesign, it would not encompass the entire park project. The bulk of the estimated $14 million park project would go to bid later.

It gives the contractor 90 days to complete the work.

The City Council deadlocked on awarding the contract, with Mayor Sandi Bloem breaking the tie in favor of moving forward with the project, as she has done all year.

Council members Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers and Goodlander sided with Bloem, while Steve Adams, Dan Gookin and Ron Edinger opposed it.

"I was hired by people back in November who oppose the project, and I will represent them," Gookin said.

* The council also voted to wave residential flagpole fees, while directing staff to recommend changing the permit requirement at the state level.

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