Council orders advertisement of bids for City Garage addition this summer

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday approved plans and specifications for the City Garage addition.

The council ordered the advertising of bids for the project, which consists of the construction of a 6,375-square foot, one-story building addition. The building would replace the administrative portion of City Garage and combine the street, utility and parks departments into one location.

Construction on the project could begin this summer and would include having one break room and converting the two other break rooms into additional storage and workspace to increase efficiency.

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The project is expected to cost $1.7 million and was included in the city’s master plan, said City Engineer Steven Jahnke.

“There’s lots of benefits there,” Jahnke said.

Bids for the project are expected to be released March 28.

In a possible phase two of the project, an addition is planned to the north and the west of the current facility. Phase two would add fleet space for city vehicles. The flow for all the vehicles is planned to be improved and a salt storage shed would be added.

The city purchased more than 2.5 acres of land from Duane Johnson at 1016 Madison Ave. in May 2016 for the project.

A facility review has found the facility needs extensive repair. The review found light fixtures are deteriorating in the building, the salt shed is at the end of its useful life, the perimeter fence is damaged, the office roof is leaking, the restrooms are not ADA compliant and there are no locker room and restroom spaces for female staff.

In other action, the council:

Accepted the payment of a civil penalty of $250 and a one-day liquor license suspension for Crescendo for allowing people under the age of 21 to be granted admission to the bar and selling them alcohol.

Approved 2.5 percent cost of living increases in 2017, 2018 and 2019 for Albert Lea union police sergeants. The contract with Minnesota Public Employees Association includes a 1 percent market adjustment each year with eligible employees receiving a step increase on anniversary dates. Contributions to family health insurance would increase from 13 percent of the premium to 15 percent this year.

Approved allowing alcohol to be served at Hayek Park for Albert Lea Lakers baseball games.

Approved order for removals for houses at 515 Pleasant Ave., 714 Pillsbury Ave. and 821 Jefferson Ave.

Declared March Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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