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Sturgis council approves public works buildings

January 5, 2018 GMT

STURGIS — Two new buildings approved Monday by the Sturgis City Council will serve to transition the city’s public works department to a new campus.

The buildings, to be constructed by Albright Construction of Belle Fourche at a cost of $431,000, were originally going to be for cold storage of city equipment. But city staff determined that moving from its current location at 1057 Dudley St., during construction of new facilities there could save the city money on the project.

During a search for alternative sites to house the department during transition, the city realized there were few sites within town that would work, and the amount the city would spend on a lease and utilities didn’t make financial sense.

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Sturgis Public Works Director Rick Bush said it made more sense to invest the city’s money into buildings that the city would own rather than in buildings they were going to lease or rent.

“It became very apparent early on that we were going to have to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make this happen,” he said.

The two buildings actually were going to be built near the end of the Dudley Street campus project. Instead, they will be the first things built.

“We thought, maybe if we take the money and make some improvements to one of these buildings and make it more than cold storage at least we are investing in our infrastructure,” he said.

One of the buildings will be located at the Sturgis Fairgrounds between the existing half-mile track and the little league baseball fields. The other will be located on land the city purchased several years ago near the Woodland Park Shelter in Sturgis City Park.

Bush said the Sturgis Fairgrounds building location was best suited for improvements due to the location of the existing utilities and its proximity to the existing storage area at the city’s east side complex near Sturgis Elementary School.

“We added bathrooms, heating, power upgrades, asphalt and larger bay doors in order to accommodate the temporary occupancy of this building,” Bush said. “While it is not an ideal work space, we feel that it will be adequate until the public works campus can be finished.”

Currently, the Sturgis Public Works Department has 21 full-time employees who are responsible for all street maintenance and repairs, snow removal, storm water, street cleaning, municipal water, city property maintenance, street lighting, wastewater treatment, city parks, Bear Butte Cemetery and special event preparations. Their offices are housed at several locations within the city.

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Plans for the new campus on Dudley, a block north of Lazelle Street in Sturgis, will provide the opportunity to put all arms of public works in one location.

Bush said his department is working with USDA Rural Development on securing a low-interest loan on the public works campus project and should have authorization to bid documents to the council soon.

“Right before Christmas break we submitted the 95 percent drawings to them for review,” he said. “Once we get the OK back from them, we should be ready to go to bid on that project.”

Not having to work in phases on the Dudley Street campus will also save the city money on that project. It also will cut down the construction time.

“Initially we were looking at 18 to 24 months for construction. We’re hoping that we will have a turn-key facility in about 12 months,” Bush said.

There were nine bids for the construction of the two public works buildings. In addition to Albright Construction, bidders included Scull Construction, Iverson Construction, R.C.S. Construction, Dean Kurtz Construction, Journey Group ABC, MAC Construction, Complete Contracting and Tru-Form Construction. Bids ranged from $431,000 to $547,364.

“We were pretty happy to see that many bids,” Bush said. “We went back to make sure the price still fit within the whole public works campus budget, and it does.”

Construction on the new buildings will begin within 30 days and completion is expected by June 1.

Originally, the money for the two buildings would have been wrapped into an overall bid for the public works campus, but because it is now separate, the city will pay for them out of the city’s cash balances.

“I want to make sure everyone is aware that this would be a separate contract and not financed through Rural Development. And, given our current financial position I think we can do that,” Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said.

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