Storm Lake officials face some cost-cutting measures as the low bid to build a 60-foot lighthouse on the new beach at Project AWAYSIS came in about $300,000 over what had been budgeted.
One of the last major parts of the lakefront development project, the lighthouse is planned to stand 60 feet tall, with an observation deck at 40 feet accessed by elevator or a stairway winding around the exterior. The structure includes a concession building and a public restroom with exterior beach showers.
According to AWAYSIS project manager Mike Wilson, two bids came in May 30, the low bidder being Larson and Larson of Des Moines with $1,177,000. The other bid was $1,238,000.
"We have been talking with Larson and Larson and have been looking at ways to help bring the cost down," Wilson told the city council Monday. "There is no easy way to be able to save $300,000 on this type of project."
The city must build the lighthouse, Wilson said, as it was promised in applications for grants and state funding.
Plans currently call for work to begin by this fall with completion May 1 of 2008.
"It's not a question of if we build it or not because we have to," Wilson said. "There are a few ways of adjusting the cost and one would be height, but I feel that would take away from something that we want to be a statement piece."
He added that the extended contract was added to help lower cost of bidding. Timing is not critical as long as the site was ready at the start of tourist season.
In other AWAYSIS news, according to Parks and Grounds Keeper Tom Meier, no date has been set for the public opening of the Sunrise Pointe Golf Course. However he added that a few tournaments are planned in July.
"We are excited to get people on the course to see their reaction," Meier said. "We have been getting calls already from people telling us what they like and don't like from what is visible from the road. A lot of people have been asking when we will be opening and we will let people know once it's been decided."
The council also approved the substantial completion of the outdoor pool, lazy river, water slides and related items. The formal completion date is set for June 20, just a day before the park opens to the public on Thursday at 11:40 a.m.
"This is one of many dates that we are looking forward to," Mayor Jon Kruse said. "This being the first and the last being when the whole project is completed. We would like to thank everyone that has been involved for your hard work on this project."
Kruse and Council members Julie Egland and Denny Vaudt added that they both have been questioned a lot about Project AWAYSIS.
"I had talked with a man from Webster City that had told me that he had driven through Storm Lake this past weekend and is looking forward to coming back," Vaudt said.
According to Mike Wilson a radio show in Cedar Rapids discussed Project AWAYSIS.
"We have people excited and talking about this and are curious to come check it out," Kruse said.