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Depot bids make lemonade out of lemons

Council to decide on remodel or new construction at April 8 meeting
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The bids are in and the Loomis Town Council must now decide the fate of the historic train depot. The bids are very good, they're half as much as we expected," said Mayor Russ Kelley. Loomis Town Manager Perry Beck said that the depot construction will be an item on the April 8 town council agenda and he expects the council to make a decision that night. Kelley was surprised at how close the bids were between a remodel and new construction and Town Manager Perry Beck was pleased with the prices overall. This bid is our lemonade in this lemon of an economy, Beck said. I think it was a good thing that the bidding process came at this time. Kelley also expects that a decision on the depot will be made at the April council meeting. There is no reason not to approve this. The cost is not an issue, he said. According to Beck, if the council decides to keep the depot and rehabilitate it, construction is expected to begin on May 1. The bid packet specified that the project would have a 180-day completion time. The bidding process, which closed on March 18, culminated with the receipt of bids from six different construction companies for either a remodel of the existing building or construction of a new depot. Four of the companies bid on both projects. The bids for rehabilitation of the existing depot ranged from $506,979 to $789,656. The same companies bid from $539,511 to $737,455 to design and construct a new depot building. In addition to the completion of the building, applicants were also asked to bid on three alternative additions. The additions were to replace half-inch gypsum board with thicker gypsum board, expand restroom sizes and to build one temperature- and humidity-controlled office. The alternative addition bids for the reconstruction ranged from $528,979 to $806,614.52. For a new building, the costs ranged from $551,511 to $749,455. Beck said the town will be required to award the project to the lowest qualified bidder, and applicant qualifications are currently being reviewed. The town had originally set aside $900,000 to $1.2 million for the depot project. That amount includes grant money the town received that will also be used to fund part of the purchase of railroad property. Town council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at town hall.