Infrastructure upgrades approved for low-income apartments

(Lander, Wyo.) – The Lander City Council on Tuesday night approved a $678,272 bid for utility infrastructure leading out to the planned Blue Ridge Apartments.

The city partnered with Haan Development for a Community Development Block grant to help fund the project. The work will include improvements to the water and sewer lines, as well as a sewage lift station, along U.S. Highway 287 southeast of Lander.

The bid went to Lander’s Patrick Construction. Public Works Director Mickey Simmons said a second bid was made at almost $750,000.

Community Resource Coordinator Gary Michaud said the developer of the low-income housing apartments estimated the project to cost $520,000. The grant will fund $460,000, and Haan committed $60,000 to match their estimate. Per a prior agreement, the city and Haan will split costs above $520,000 evenly, up to $100,000 each. Therefore, with the approved bid, the city will pay $79,136.

“That’s a lot of infrastructure for $79,000 from the city,” councilor Cade Maestas said.

The motion passed unanimously. Mayor Mick Wolfe was absent for a planned vacation.

During a work session last week, the council opted to deny Haan its request for tap, meter and building permit fees to be waived.

On another project Tuesday night, the council formally rejected two bids for a taxilane extension project at Hunt Field Airport that would have made room for additional hangars during the rodeo grounds relocation process.

Engineers had estimated the project’s cost to be $227,752, but both bids received were hundreds of thousands above that. Western Wyoming Construction bid $461,702.80, and Jerry Bornhoft Construction bid $522,480.

“The FAA will not support funding the taxilane at the received bid prices,” wrote Armstrong Consultants Inc.’s John Mannee in a letter to the city, who had spoken with the federal office.

Simmons said this was the second time bids for the project had been rejected, and that this second round the project had been cut some to help lower costs.

The rejection passed unanimously, and no future tries at the project were suggested.

Manee wrote in his letter that the FAA had suggested considering a concrete paving option with a re-bid in the spring.