The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved contracting with the Ellsworth engineering firm Kirkham-Michael to handle the inspection work on the new stretch of Eighth Street between Grant and McKinley. The cost will be $38,225.28, and the firm was the lowest of three bidders, City Administrator Kendal Francis said.
Francis said this is work that would traditionally be done by the city’s engineering technician. But, even though the city is close to hiring someone, that position remains vacant following the resignation of Carl Otter earlier this year.
The city will foot the cost for the work, along with the entire cost of the improvements, up front. But, the costs will all be recouped via the benefit district, meaning the expenses will be assessed against the property owners along the street.
The engineer fees were factored into the original project cost, Francis said. “There is no change in the total amount.”
However, the council asked Francis why the inspection isn’t being done by the city’s on-call engineering firm, Professional Engineering Consultants of Wichita. Francis said, due to the timing, PEC doesn’t have the manpower to do the work.
It was also mentioned that the cost of the inspection is close to half the annual salary of an engineering tech. This highlights the importance of filling that post, council members said.
Here are some additional items from the council meeting Monday night:
• Francis invited the council and the community to the Events Center Open House, set for 3-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. The facility is located at 3111 10th St.
The public is invited to see the new Convention and Visitors Bureau office, the new tile and carpeted flooring and other improvements. Refreshments will be served.
• Francis also invited the public to his first Coffee with Kendal at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Perks Coffee Shop, 1216 Main St, Great Bend.
He will be on hand to visit with folks and answer questions.