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Colfax accepts $321,000 bid from Haas Sons for Third Avenue

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Colfax Village Board has accepted a low bid of $320,732 from Haas Sons, Inc., out of Thorp, to complete the Third Avenue street project.

Lisa Fleming, a civil engineer with Ayres Associates, presented the bids for the Third Avenue project to the Colfax Village Board at the May 23 meeting.

All together, Colfax received six bids for the project, Fleming noted.

The other bids included $338,785 from McCabe Construction (Eau Claire); $343,596 from RM Schlosser Excavating (Durand); $351,937 from Heartland Contractors of Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls); $357,667 from Albrightson Excavating (Woodville); and $379,466 from A-1 Excavating (Bloomer).

Fleming said she had estimated the project at $335,000.

“I was surprised to see Haas bid,” Fleming noted.

Haas Sons obtained ten jobs the week before the Colfax bids were due. The company also was the low bidder on a $7 million project in Altoona and obtained two bids after that before the Colfax bid, she said, noting that Haas Sons does quite a lot of work for the City of Eau Claire.

Haas Sons expects to start the Third Avenue project in July, and the company will have 70 calendar days to finish, Fleming said.

“Do they believe in working on Fridays?” asked one Third Avenue resident.

The Fourth Avenue project last year was delayed because the contractor never worked on Fridays.

“They work on Fridays,” Fleming said.

Haas Sons’ crews typically start work at 7 a.m. and work until 5 p.m. If the crew has experienced a delay of some kind, the crew will work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If there are more delays, the work day starts at 6 a.m. and goes until dark. If there is a substantial delay, the crews will work on Saturdays, she said.

“They have a good fleet and a good staff. Haas gets almost everything in Eau Claire,” Fleming said.

The company has “dedicated crews, and they go right along,” she said.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, asked about the financing of the Third Avenue project.

Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, said she had received interest rates the previous week.

According to information Niggemann supplied to the Colfax Messenger, Dairy State Bank is offering interest rates of 1.78 percent on a five-year loan; 2.11 percent on seven-year loan; and 2.58 on a ten-year loan.

Payments would be $68,500 annually or $34,200 semi-annually on a five-year loan.

The payments would be $50,400 annually or $26,200 semi-annually on a seven-year loan.

And the payments would be $37,300 annually or $18,600 semi-annually on a ten-year loan.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved accepting the low bid of $320,732 from Haas Sons Inc.

Engineering fees

In other business related to the Third Avenue project, the Colfax Village Board approved spending $21,500 for engineering fees with Ayres Associates.

For most street projects, the full engineering cost would be about $35,000, Fleming said.

Village officials have previously discussed with Fleming having Department of Public Works employees oversee some of the Third Avenue work to reduce the engineering costs.

The items that are left on the list of engineering services are “major things that need an engineer,” said Rand Bates, director of public works.

The village does not want to remove all of the checks and balances from the engineering, because if no one is watching, who will be responsible if something goes wrong, said Casey Rihn, village trustee.

The residents will expect to see an engineer on site, said Mark Halpin, village trustees.

Homeowners sometimes want to talk to an engineer if there is an issue, Fleming said.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to contract with Ayres Associates for $21,500 for engineering costs associated with the Third Avenue project.

Driveways

In a third agenda item related to the Third Avenue project, the Colfax Village Board received information about several options that would be available for the curb by Midwest Classics.

Brian Longdo, owner of Midwest Classics, said he was concerned that if a standard curb were put in, he would have to back over it to back trailers into his business on Third Avenue.

“We have to do something for drainage and something he can drive over,” Bates noted.

“He has to drive over (the curb) because of how the building is … we might as well do it right, right away,” he said.

Village board members agreed that a flattened curb would be the best option for the section by Midwest Classics.

A public informational meeting has been scheduled for the Third Avenue project on June 22 in the conference room at the Colfax Rescue Squad building.