Chinook project still seeks contractor
After three weeks of waiting for bids for its water plant renovations, the city of Chinook received no bids. So city officials are starting the bid-letting process again.
The plan is to replace three furnaces and exterior walls, windows and doors to increase the energy efficiency of Chinook's plant.
The $263,000 project is mostly funded through a state Department of Environmental Quality energy efficiency grant that would pay $200,000 of the construction costs.
The other $63,000 would be paid by the city.
The project was advertised as seeking bids in the Blaine County Journal- News/Opinion and on building exchanges, directories of projects seeking contractors, in Great Falls, Billings and Bozeman.
According to Pam Lemer from Bear Paw Development Corp., who has been helping Chinook in its pursuit of the project funding, a quiet first bid period is not a problem.
"This happens occasionally, " Lemer said. "It's happened with other projects in the not-too-distant past. Then, when we re-advertised, we received bids. "
Lemer said that they would begin advertising again next week to find someone to do the work.
Lorraine Mulonet, Chinook city clerk, said at the City Council meeting on Thursday night that advertisements would also be sought in the Great Falls Tribune and Billings Gazette, to cast a wider net.
City officials began working on the project a few months ago, at their February meeting, after finding out that the windows, doors and walls were letting out far too much heat.
In the depths of this past winter, the multiple feet of snow that covered everything melted within a few feet of the water treatment plant, creating a moat of bare earth around the building.
This renovation is intended to use the heat strictly to keep the building warm and not the area around it.