Team McEuen: Sign the contract

ACI Northwest could begin construction work later this month

COEUR d'ALENE - Team McEuen is recommending the city contract with ACI Northwest Inc., to begin construction work on McEuen Field.

The $1.16 million contract for parking lot and excavation work is the lowest of the four bids the city received, and around $440,000 less than the $1.56 million the city had originally estimated.

"We have reviewed the bid packages received and they all seem to be responsive," Phil Boyd, Welch-Comer president and Team McEuen park design member, wrote the Coeur d'Alene City Council. "We recommend the city immediately begin processing contracts with" ACI.

The contract calls for putting in 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.

But if ACI is awarded the contract, the company could begin work this month and that would mark the first time dirt has moved on the controversial reconstruction project that has been a highly polarizing topic since it was announced nearly two years ago.

The City Council has been divided on the McEuen Field project for the entire year. Almost every vote tied to the project ends four to three, with Mayor Sandi Bloem casting the deciding vote in favor of the project nearly every time.

The contract will go before the City Council at 6 tonight in the Community Room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. It's scheduled on the consent calendar with a number of other items, but City Councilman Dan Gookin said he will make a motion to pull the topic off the consent calendar so it can be discussed on its own.

He said he plans on make a motion suggesting every McEuen Field issue be scheduled at council as its own topic.

The basketball court and playground at McEuen Field will remain intact until next spring, according to city staff reports. If the contract is awarded, work around the base of Tubbs Hill will begin this month, while parking at the Third Street lot will be reduced during construction. Parking at the lower City Hall lot won't be available, either.

Osprey nests will be protected until they leave around the end of September, and the city is also considering installing a web cam of the project for citizens to view, reports state.

Coeur d'Alene-based ACI's bid is around $300,000 less than MDM Construction's $1.45 million bid. Knife River Inc. estimated it could do the project for $1.48 million and S & L Underground estimated it would cost $1.64 million.

Other City Council business

Also scheduled is a public hearing on the fiscal year 2012 budget amendments. The amendments show the actual budget at $81 million, up from the $77.9 million estimate the city budgeted at the beginning of the fiscal year.

The amended budget states that the general fund is $30.7 million, up from the estimated $29.6 million.

The fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The council will also consider entering into a contract with The Omega Group Software Company for $51,300 to provide software to enable the department its crime analysis unit. The department received the money from a federal grant allocated by the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.

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