Wallace searching for deeper bidding pool

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WALLACE — The Wallace City Council held a special meeting on Monday afternoon to review and make a determination on a bid for repairing the mysteriously leaking Wallace City Pool.

The lone bid the city received, from contractor S&L Underground, came in at $726,440 for a full repair of the pool, a far cry from the $450,000 that engineering firm Terracon had estimated over the summer.

The bid came as a bit of a shock to city officials, who were expecting something more between Terracon’s estimate and a rough $500,000 estimate from city engineer Jim Roletto.

The positive side of the bid from S&L was that they would be getting to work immediately with an end-of-project date of May 15, 2020, well in time for the summer swimming season.

But after consulting with Roletto and the other members of the council, it was determined that the unexpectedly high bid was the result of the contractor agreeing to complete the project through the long winter months.

Added measures for heating, specialized cold-setting concrete, as well as guaranteeing the May completion of the project were speculated to account for around $100,000 of the bid.

“Here’s where some of the money is, for what it’s worth. If we didn’t do this during the winter and if we didn’t rush them,” Roletto said. “That’s probably $100,000 right there.”

After deliberating, weighing the pros and cons, and hearing from Roletto, the council voted to decline the bid from S&L and to restructure the project and put it out to bid again, but instead of attempting to have the project done by this coming May, the project would hopefully go on during the warmer spring and summer months to help alleviate the cost of the project in total.

Roletto did caution that a new bid may not come in, as well as the fact that there are no guarantees that it will be completed during their desired window.

Right now, through grants and donations there is roughly $243,000 available for the project right now.

It also means that the city will be able to put the pool’s annual $60,000 operation fund toward the project which could put them at roughly 50% of their total need.

“This pool has had a lot of issues in the past,” said councilman Rick Shaffer. “We want this to be the Cadillac of swimming pools. We’re going to do this right, we want this to be the last fix until the next pool.”

Roletto will now need to rework the bid and get it advertised, which the council would like to see happen next month and then begin receiving new bids in January.

Unfortunately, this will mean that for another summer season, the Wallace pool will not be open for a third straight season.

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