City of Pella to seek bids for $1.5 million fiber optic line

PELLA — The City of Pella will seek bids to construct 34 miles of a fiber optic line for the upcoming telecommunications utility.

The fiber optic line will run from Pella Fiber to Unity Point Hospital in Grinnell, or the city’s “Point of Presence," to provide bandwidth.

The project for the fiber optic line will include labor, materials and construction, estimated at $1,568,646. The bidding process for the project will begin Aug. 7, and a public hearing date was set for Aug. 18 to award a contract to potential bidders.

According to City Administrator Mike Nardini, construction for the project is slated to begin Sept. 3 and be completed by Oct. 22 of this year.

In other news:

Shane McSheehy, the new Pella Police Chief, was officially sworn in by Mayor Don DeWaard. McSheehy is a 26-year veteran in law enforcement and most recently served as a captain in Eustis, Fl. 

- A bid from Synergy Contracting was approved for a new water main along Fifield Road from W. 9th St. extending north to W. Washington St. Council awarded the contract for $736,898, about $88,000 below the engineer’s estimate for the project.

- Council heard from Mary Stark, John and Anna Poole Professor of Humanities and English at Central College, to make Big Rock Park part of the Old Growth Forest Network. The organization is a non-profit founded to preserve remaining old-growth forests. If council were to accept this designation, Big Rock Park would be the first in Iowa out of 106 forests across 23 states to receive this designation.

- Council approved the plans, specs, form of contract and an estimate of costs for the reconstruction of the Clark Street water main to Syngergy Contracting. Cost of the project is estimated at $406,885, and Syngergy Contracting had the lowest bid at $366,906. A final contract was deferred until Aug. 4, as council plans to draft and approve a cost-sharing agreement with Pella Corporation to split financing.

Emily Hawk can be reached at 641-672-2581 or by email at

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