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Pool project meets with higher bids than expected

Bad news arrived for Lakeview’s pool reconstruction project in the form of bids much higher than originally projected.

When the Town Council met on Tuesday, Nov. 26, they expected to have enough money to cover two different aspects of the pool’s operation.  These were the pool rehabilitation itself and a new geothermal well for warmer water to fill the pool once completed.

There were two bids for the pool from Batzer Construction, which was the lowest, and Diversified Contractors Incorporated (DCI).  Batzer offered an estimate of $382,469, with DCI estimating a cost of $558,379.

The only bid for the well came from Schneider construction, $537,400.

“Everything came in well over estimates and the grant,” said Town Mgr, Ray Simms at the meeting.  “Our application estimated $270,000 for the pool and $105,000 for the well.”

Simms noted that the Council had enough time for any needed discussion with 30 days from the meeting to award the bid.

“It appears we won’t be able to get a new well, so we’ll have to rehabilitate the existing well,” said Simms.

Anderson added, “We can lower the pump to have hotter water, but we’ll have to have the State Parks and Recreation Department approve an amendment to the grant.”  The amendment would allow the money allocated for a new well to go toward rehabilitating the old one and cover the unexpectedly high cost of the new pool itself.

“We’ve raised around $112,000,” said Anderson, “so we have in the neighborhood of $380,000 to spend.  Before we make a decision, though, we need to make sure the state agrees with the amendment.

“We’ll have to reject the well bid,” Anderson said.  “I’m not totally ready to give up on the idea of a new well, however, whatever we do we need to reject the bid.”

“Schneider was the only bidder,” added Simms, “but they typically bid high.”

Council members speculated on ways to get the pool water warmer, mentioning that even heating it might be an option with the cost of a new well being so high.

Anderson commented that one of the reasons for a new well was that the old one is kind of a mess.  “We need to make an assessment of where the cold water is coming in,” he said.

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