City officials delay, reject bids for Pella Fiber project

PELLA — High offers for service costs prompted city officials to delay and reject bids for access equipment and service drops for the Pella Fiber to the Premise project.

The project includes providing necessary access equipment to provide telecommunications services to the community, including a central office, residential gateways and wireless mesh devices. The city’s engineer, NewCom Technologies, estimates this portion of the project will cost approximately $1.27 million.

The city received five bids for the project, all of which were over or slightly under the engineer’s estimate. Council approved specs for the project but delayed awarding a construction contract to allow further review from the engineer. Council is projected to make a decision and award the contract during their Aug. 4 meeting.

Council also rejected a bid almost $700,000 over the engineer’s estimate for connecting a service drop, or the mainline of Pella Fiber, to homes. MP Nexlevel bid $2,047,187 for this portion of the project; the engineer’s estimate is $1,345,270.

Moving forward, City Administrator Mike Nardini says the city hopes to capture bids this winter to get more favorable pricing. The impact this decision will have on the project’s timeline will be provided at the July 21 council meeting. Services are currently projected to be up and running by spring 2021.

In other news:

- Council approved the first reading of an additional zoning change for the new Lely North American Headquarters, which includes about 8.7 acres of land south of Highway 163 and west of Exit 44. The area will be changed from Agricultural (A1) to Heavy Industrial (M2).

Emily Hawk can be reached at 641-672-2581 or by email at ehawk@oskyherald.com.

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