By Travis Gulbrandson
The Vermillion City Council has discussed a bid for the construction of a new baler building for the landfill, as well as submitted a grant to fund part of the project.
The action was taken at the council’s regular meeting, which was held Monday night.
According to city engineer José Domínguez, the city and its insurance carrier have agreed on a replacement cost of $663,788 for a new baler building to replace the one that was destroyed in a fire at the Vermillion Sanitary Landfill on Oct. 22, 2012.
The low bid was from Peska Construction of Sioux Falls, for the amount of $1,060,000.
The engineer’s estimate was for $850,000.
Domínguez said the reason the price has increased is because the new building will be larger than the previous one, measuring 80 feet by 160 feet, compared to 80 feet by 130 feet.
“The increase in size is based on several factors, but can be summed up (by) safety issues, size for storing equipment and so forth, and also just the way that the building is used during landfill operations. It was pretty near capacity,” Domínguez said.
Landfill director Bob Iverson added that there were no water sprinklers in the old building. While he said there will not be any in the new building, either, there will be an alarm system that will alert firefighters should a fire break out.
Approval of the bid was tabled until Aug. 14, when the city council will meet to review the 2014 budget.
Domínguez said staff will either have a recommendation to approve a lower bid amount or rebid the project by that time.
The project was not budgeted for in 2013, as the fire had not yet occurred. In addition to the insurance money, the city and Yankton County will join to fund $133,503 of the project.
Up to $200,000 in additional funds may also be covered by a grant from the South Dakota Department of Energy and Natural Resources.
The council voted to submit the grant application at Monday’s meeting.
Last October’s fire at the landfill’s bailer building led to the loss of items including the baler, conveyor and a truck.
In meetings last November, the city council replaced a wheel loader that was lost, as well as fire department gear that was damaged during the blaze.
This past June the city council approved the purchase of a new baler and conveyor for the landfill.
The cause of the fire was undetermined following inspections from fire investigators.