$3.8M bid for Fair Ave. project gets county nod

It was the lowest of six bids, but final approval is contingent upon the city of Park Rapids.

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The Hubbard County Board accepted a $3,865,156 quote from Kuechle Underground, Inc. of Kimball, Minn. for the Fair Avenue reconstruction project.

It was the lowest of six bids, but final approval is contingent upon the city of Park Rapids.

Hubbard County Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin explained that this is a city project, with no county funds involved. Hubbard County is merely a sponsor of the project and administrator of the grant funding.

Nordin said this project, along with two others approved by the county board on Tuesday, Feb. 7, will utilize Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) funding. Hubbard County applied for and received the LRIP state aid.

The $3.8 million bid “is for the entire project. This includes Fair Avenue all the way down to Industrial Road, but the city also had a couple alternate bids on there, extending on to a couple of their city streets,” Nordin said.


The LRIP grant is for $1.25 million.

In Nov. 2022, the Park Rapids City Council approved specifications for the Fair Avenue street and utility reconstruction project, and put the project out to bid.

The base bid covers full reconstruction of Fair Avenue from State Hwy. 34 south to 8th Street, and of 5th Street from Fair Avenue east through Lindquist Park, plus overlay and shoulder widening on Fair Avenue from 8th Street to Industrial Park Road.

Nordin said about $2.6 million covered the base bid.

“Bids were very favorable, according to estimate,” he added. “That should help with some of the assessments that you probably read about in the paper.”

The city requested an alternate bid to rebuild 5th Street as far east as Pleasant Avenue, the first block of Front and Court avenues south of 5th, and an adjacent alley.

County commissioner Ted Van Kempen expressed surprise at the number of bids received on all three LRIP projects.

“With this one, with the underground work, you bring in a different set of interested contractors. Obviously, you have paving, too,” Nordin replied. “Yes, good to see the interest. I think the timing of the year has something to do with it, too.”


Nordin said they are trying to get bids out and on contractor’s schedules earlier.

Board chair Tom Krueger noted that the county has property on Fair Avenue that will see special assessments, along with city residents.

“Anybody that’s got frontage on there will be assessed based upon the assessment policy of the city. Certain things are going to be assessable, like any of the sanitary sewer and water services that are directly for a property,” Nordin said.

“Those notices have been delivered,” added County Administrator Jeff Cadwell, noting the cost will be assessed on owners’ property tax bills for a 20-year term.

“The road has to be done and it has to be done at some point,” Nordin said, calling special assessments “a necessary evil.”

Cadwell said Katie Lundmark from Heritage Community called about their $250,000 assessment, but realized it will be paid over 20 years.

LRIP grants for Henrietta, Arago townships

The county board approved low bids for two other LRIP grants.

One was for a grading and paving project on 204th Street from County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1 to CSAH 4. There were five bids. The lowest was $318,135 from Northern Paving, Inc. of Bemidji, with acceptance contingent upon the approval of Henrietta Township. Nordin said LRIP awarded $364,000.


The other project is off U.S. Hwy. 71, from 230th St. down 141st Ave. to CSAH 18. Five bids were received. Gladen Construction, Inc. of Laporte offered the lowest at $853,401. Approval is contingent upon Arago Township. Nordin said there was plenty of LRIP money to cover costs.

In related business, the board did as follows:

  • Following a closed meeting with Hubbard County Attorney Jonathan Frieden, approved a $4,458 payment to Randy Gackstetter for a temporary easement on County Road 39.
  • Approved purchase of Civil 3D design software for the county surveyor, a three-year subscription renewal. The quote of $6,781 from DLT Solutions, LLC of Herndon, Va. was for a three-year subscription renewal.
  • Approved the purchase of a MS EA Windows server from CDW-G, Chicago, Ill., in the amount of $32,183.
  • Approved adding legal access for Minnesota Land Trust on an easement across tax-forfeited land to Northern Lights Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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