by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
I wrote not long ago about being able to tell how the economy was doing by the way bids came in for large city street projects. I am not so sure it holds true for most of us, but it seems to work when discussing construction companies.
We held the bid opening for the TAP or Pedestrian Access grant last Thursday afternoon. We had one bid. Of the four companies who bid the Fort Hall project only one had bid the installation of sidewalk, curb and gutter from South City Park to Lee Street, which should tell you something. That the single bid came in almost a quarter of a million dollars over, nearly double the engineer’s estimate may reinforce it. I have a meeting this Tuesday with those associated with the TAP grant to discuss how to proceed. I suspect our two options will include only doing about half the intended project or declining the bid and bidding again in December when most companies will be more responsive and their plate not so full. I will keep you posted.
An open house was held last Thursday evening as well on the Fort Hall project in an effort to keep you more informed. My thanks to the citizens and business owners who made the effort to be there and for their thoughtful and concerned questions. Construction on Fort Hall is expected to start around June 1. Once started, weekly construction meetings will be held on Thursday afternoons at 4 in the city council chambers. Construction is expected to be completed on or before September 15. At least single lane traffic will be allowed to pass throughout the duration of the project.
The stop of traffic flow on Oregon Trail between the two sides of the golf course had some citizens concerned and golfers happy last week. No, we aren’t closing that section of street to make the golf course bigger, I apologize to some. No, we won’t leave it a dirt road. It and several other blocks that were winter damaged two years ago will go through the same process and be repaved sometime in June. Sorry, for the brief inconvenience, I look forward to having several blocks of new paving installed.
The answer to the other popular question of the last few weeks is, I believe, Thursday. If everything goes according to his plan, Lalo Hidalgo should open Willow Bay Café this week. Hidalgo has been a longtime local favorite as a cook. His roots are in Rockland where he began cooking with his mother at the local café. Look for Hidalgo on Facebook for much more information.
As we look forward to the Willow Bay Café and Hidalgo being open for business this week, two other annual events will be taking place at Willow Bay as well. The annual Rocky Mountain Bow Fishing Association will be sponsoring the American Falls Classic beginning Friday, May 18, and concluding on Sunday. The last I heard they were expecting nearly 80 teams. Also, on Saturday, May 19, is the annual American Falls Birding Festival. Plan to meet in the Library’s Community Room at 9 a.m. to take part in this great family event.
On that positive community note there is still time to get your request for help in for the Community Pride Day on Wednesday, May 23. If you have an interest in participating or just need some help please leave me a message at city hall and I will be in touch. The students and faculty look forward to working with you as we continue to make American Falls the best place to live.
Until next week…
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