MOORHEAD —A new Moorhead water tower project that was expected to see construction start this summer may get pushed back if the work winds up being rebid.
Moorhead Public Service began planning for the new tower in earnest in 2015, when it worked with an engineering firm to identify the size and location of the tower, which will be located in the 4200 block of 28th Street South.
A call for proposals was sent out, but only one qualified bid was received from a company called Landmark Structures.
The bid price received was about $3.75 million; with an estimated engineering cost of $232,000, the entire project cost is approaching $4 million.
Moorhead Public Service budgeted about $3 million for the project based on initial cost estimates.
Although the Moorhead Public Service Commission recently voted 3-1 to recommend to the Moorhead City Council that the project move ahead, an item to that effect was pulled from a recent Moorhead City Council meeting before a vote could be held.
MPS General Manager Bill Schwandt said the matter was pulled from the city council agenda so MPS staff could reexamine the project. He said it will likely be discussed again at the Moorhead Public Service Commission meeting set for May 7, and he anticipates the commission may vote to have the project rebid in hopes of receiving other and possibly less expensive bids.
Schwandt said one reason only one qualified bid was received may have been because of the tight construction timetable the project required. If the project is rebid, the anticipated completion date could be pushed from late summer 2020 to late summer 2021.
He said if the project is rebid and the completion date is moved back, it will also likely push back work that was planned for an existing water tower in the area of Interstate 94 and 20th Street South.
Schwandt said whichever way the new tower project proceeds it will likely include artwork that reflects a neighborhood-specific design.