Contracts totaling millions of dollars for water and sewer system work related to the North Central Ag Industrial Park were awarded by the Fort Dodge City Council on Monday.
The council members also unanimously rejected a proposed engineering contract with an Ames firm and stated their intention to hire MER Engineering Inc. of Fort Dodge to prepare the plans for some street improvements.
The biggest contract, totaling $16,776,900, was awarded to Gridor Construction of Buffalo, Minn. That company will expand the wastewater treatment plant at 1801 Ave. B so that it can handle sewage from the Cargill and CJ Bio America plants.
Other bidders for the job were Story Construction, Ames ($17,297,000); Woodruff Construction, Fort Dodge ($17,300,000); Joseph J. Henderson & Son, Gurnee, Ill. ($18,068,100); John T. Jones Construction, Fargo, N.D. ($18,560,000) and Rice Lake Construction, Deerwood, Minn. ($18,606,832).
Supplying the plants in the Ag Industrial Park and ensuring the water supply for the rest of the city will require some new wells. To drill those wells, the council hired Grosch Irrigation Co. Inc., of Silver Creek, Neb., at a cost of $2,467,961.70. That company will drill two new wells and get the one recently drilled near the former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course into service. It will also close down three older wells.
C.L. Carroll Co. Inc., of Des Moines, was awarded a $2,633,178.06 contract to build the wellhouses for the two new wells and the one near the former golf course.
Rasch Construction Inc. of Fort Dodge, was hired to build a water main connecting the wells at a cost of $489,217.50.
The water and sewer work will be paid for with utility bill revenue. The work needed for the Cargill and CJ Bio America plants will be paid for by those companies.
While awarding other contracts, the council rejected a proposal to hire Bolton & Menk, of Ames, to design two street improvement projects at a cost of $59,700.
MER Engineering submitted a bid of $59,500.
Despite the lower bid, the city engineering staff recommended hiring Bolton & Menk, the firm that designed the recent reconstruction of streets around Feelhaver Elementary School, 1300 14th Ave. N.
''We feel they give us a better level of service,'' said Scott Meinders, a civil engineer for the city.
Eldon Rossow, the president of MER Engineering Inc., asked the council to consider his company.
''We're local,'' he said. ''We've been here a long time.''
The council is expected to act on hiring Rossow's firm for the work during its Nov. 19 meeting. The company will design the reconstruction of Avenue C between D and G streets and the reconstruction of 23rd Street between Elmhurst Avenue and 10th Avenue North.