The Lac du Flambeau Town Board approved a motion on Sept. 11 to push back the opening date for bids on the fire station expansion project from October to Jan. 16, 2020.
In April of this year, the town of Lac du Flambeau approved an 8,000 square foot addition to its building which would accommodate the department’s trucks.
The decision comes after a phone call with architect Glenn Morrison of Architecture North in Woodruff.
“When he was putting the bid specs together, he was waiting to get the specifications from the heating engineer, which got held up and we’re actually a couple weeks behind him getting those,” town chairman Matt Gaulke said. “So, he didn’t have a complete bid set of plans to give to potential bidders.”
Had Morrison kept to a “tight time schedule,” Gaulke said the town would be bidding the project in October or November, which would ultimately put construction into mid- to late November.
Gaulke said he brought the issue to the board to see how it would feel about bidding at a later date and starting construction in the spring.
“Which will be less expensive to do, rather than trying to do it in the middle of the winter,” Gaulke said. “Now he’s looking at a bid opening date of Jan. 16.”
“Well, I’m totally against breaking ground in the wintertime,” town supervisor Chris Mayer said. “I’d fight it tooth and nail. It causes nothing but heartaches in the end.”
Mayer said that with the money the town was investing in to a long-term project, such as the fire station expansion, he didn’t think it made sense.
“I think we’re committed already, it’s just we have to be sensible about it, too,” Mayer said.
“This has been worked on for a long time, do we have to rush it by another five months?” Gaulke asked.
Mayer said he would rather let the bids come in at a later date than have rushing the process.
“So, does the bid specify, once they open the bids, do they specify a start date within X-amount of days?” town supervisor Gloria Cobb asked.
Gaulke said he would ask Morrison about it, but said bids typically specified when work needed to commence.
“Matt, are you suggesting then, that it be the 16th, are we setting a date today, or not?” Bill McCutchin asked.
Gaulke said Jan. 16 was the date Morrison had suggested.
According to Gaulke, the town wouldn’t start paying on the loan until the following year.
“The assessment to the property taxes won’t then go into effect, where it would’ve gone into effect this year, we would’ve budgeted for it, now it’ll go into 2021,” Gaulke said. “It won’t be on the levy this year. It’ll be on next year’s levy. The following year’s levy, I should say.”
Jim Sommerfeldt asked if Morrison would “holding” to the $1.75 million estimated cost of the project.
Gaulke said as far as he knew, the cost for the project would remain the same.
“And if anything arises between now and then, that doesn’t mean that that can’t be adjusted again,” Mayer said.
Mayer said he hoped the board would be kept “apprised” if another situation arose that would affect the project.
On Sept. 11, the LdF Town Board also:
• Approved a motion permitting the Northern Hornshoe Trails snowmobile club to construct a carport addition to the club’s building.
• Approved a motion to support a funding request from the Hope program in the amount of $500.
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected]