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Board rejects bids for water tower painting

Repainting the Shawano Avenue water tower in Howard will wait until next year after the village board decided Monday, June 25, to reject all the bids submitted this year for the project. Ben Rodgers Photo

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – After receiving bids for more than the budgeted amount, the Howard village board decided Monday, June 25, to reject them and wait until next year to paint the Shawano Avenue water tower.

The village’s public works director, Geoff Farr, informed the board that tower is due for exterior blasting and painting, as well as some touch-up work on the interior and other miscellaneous work, which was bid out in April with $250,000 budgeted for the project.

“The bids came in substantially over our budgeted amounts,” said Farr, who noted the prices received may have had something to do with when the project was bid out. “I think April might have been too late for this year’s work.”

Geoff Farr

Of the seven firms submitting bids, Farr noted the lowest base bid for painting the exterior of the tower came from Seven Brothers Painting at $392,300.

Farr recommended budgeting more money to do the project next year and rebidding it.

“I believe that you rebid this next year we’ll stand to have some savings,” he said.

Though it is difficult to make direct comparisons with other water tower painting projects, which may deal with different tower shapes and materials, Farr said a water tower in Kaukauna with more surface area to paint than the Shawano Avenue tower had bids come in lower.

Though the board could have agreed to go do some touch-up work this year and then repaint the tower next year, Farr said, “I’d hate to recommend spending $20,000 and then just painting the following year.”

“These (water towers) are relatively substantial structures and (holding off painting for) a year or two is not going to be a problem,” he said.

In other action, the board approved a proposal from Schenck S.C. of Green Bay for auditing services for the years 2018 through 2020 with options for 2021 and 2022.

Schenk offered the lowest price for an annual audit of the village’s financial statements among four firms submitting proposals. The total cost for the first three years will be $82,875 with the option for two additional years totaling $140,950.

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