By TESA GLASS email@example.com
---- — Demolition bids for the Horace Mann building came in at a total cost of $375,980, under the projected $596,000 budget estimate.
"The city had the property for 12 years, and got nine years of use from the property and the building has also provided a value to the community and its citizens as long as we were able to maintain it," City Manager Ron Neibert said. "We were fortunate the bids came in some $200,000 under the budgeted projection."
There were seven bidders for the demolition potion of the project, and six bidders for the asbestos abatement portion. One demolition bid, from Dora & Associates, was disqualified due to lack of required documentation and certification as required in the bid specifications. The low bid on asbestos abatement was awarded to Talbert ICS in the amount of $205,000; the demolition bid was awarded to Green Trac, at a cost of $170,980.
According to Neibert, the project was bid in two components in order to get lower bids.
"To do the asbestos portion of the demolition, a contractor must be certified in the State of Illinois under the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency guidelines," Neibert explained. "If we had bid the project as one component, we wouldn't have gotten as competitive bids, as we would have been limiting the bidding to those companies which could do both the asbestos and the demolition."
Bids include taking the property, located on Perkins Avenue, back to a green space and seeded. In addition, some structural elements will be removed during demolition for the Jefferson County Historical Society as well as Mt. Vernon City Schools District 80.
"There is going to be a group of former students and teachers that will have a get-together before demolition to share their memories," Mayor Mary Jane Chesley reported. "There will be bricks from the building available in a secure area of the property, and they will be able to take a brick to remember the school. ... There are good memories of that school and it has served us well. A lot of fine people went through those halls."
The building will be taken down completely and the lot will be a green space once demolition is completed.
"We have talked about the issue of community input on what takes place to the property after it has been seeded and made a green space, such as what could be put up to replace it and what may go there," City Councilman Ron Lash reminded the council.
In other business, the council:
Approved a bid from Premier Demolition for demolition of five homes;
Approved revisions to the liquor ordinance that will allow the sale of alcoholic liquor under the winemaker's license;
Approved the transfer of property to the First United Methodist Church and to Byrd Watson Drug. Two dilapidated residential structures will be demolished by the church and the business;
Approved a Downtown Tax Increment Finance District inducement resolution with Torrez Properties which will allow costs associated with an expansion project at the business on South 10th Street to be considered for TIF funds;
Proclaimed April 7 through April 13 as National Telecommunicator's Week;
Re-appointed Neibert to the Fire Pension Board;
Re-appointed Rick Kirkpatrick to the Historic Preservation Commission; and
Heard a report on projects from City Project Manager Nathan McKenna and City Engineer Brad Ruble.