Design plan for Wrigley Square revealed
The Mobridge City Council saw the first rendition of the Wrigley Square project Monday, Sept. 16, and met the students and faculty who will work on the project.
Professor Brian Rex, head of the architecture department at South Dakota State University (SDSU) presented a further developed design for the End of Line Project at Wrigley Square.
Rex explained the triangle point would hold unique elements that celebrate Mobridge, including area and railroad history. The point of Wrigley Square is historically significant to the railroad and South Dakota as at one time all freight and passengers were unloaded there because it was the end of the railroad line. The passengers headed west to other parts of the state then procured transportation, and freight was loaded onto wagons to be shipped to out west.
In the concrete wall on the riverside of the point, there will be a tribute to Sitting Bull, including a view of the burial site and an historical passage in his words, etched in the concrete. There will also be a tribute to the Hiawatha passenger train, which at one time stopped at Mobridge, and will include a “lean out” view. That means the view from the railroad section of the point will be the type of view one would get from leaning out of the window of a train car. Picnic tables will be used in this area of the point.
There will be a framed panoramic view of the lake and surrounding hills as a tribute to the beauty of the area. Also included will be s sundial that will mark special events in the community such as the Parade of Lights, Beef ‘N Fun and the Sitting Bull Stampede.
Other elements include a small stage for civic events, planters, and on the point, a flagpole.
With approval from the council and the committee that has been working with the students and Prof. Rex, each of the architectural students will now be assigned one of the aspects of the design. The student’s designs will be used in the final plan for the point.
The committee working with the students and faculty includes Erin Wheeler of the parks and recreation board and waterfront development committee; Haden Bowie, Mobridge Chamber of Commerce and planning and zoning officer; and councilmen Tony Yellow Boy and Randy Carlson.
Water tower bids
Jay Koch from Helms and Associates of Aberdeen told the council that increases in the price of steel and sub-contracting services have raised the bids for the new water tower and rehabilitation of the tower east of Mobridge-Pollock High School.
He said when the firm asked for estimates on the project two years ago, the estimates were lower than the bids received. There is currently $1.712 million available for the project, with $1.539 million for construction. He also said the cost of the base of the tower is more expensive because there are deep foundation piles in the base of the tower. The rest is tied up in engineering and administration of the project.
He explained the difference is about $600,000 short of what the city currently has available for the project. He said the bids were fair, with the lowest bid for tower construction coming from Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls at $1.809 million; for refurbishing the northeast tower from Champion Coating of Savage, Minn., at $284,000; and for removal of the old tower behind city hall from Maguire Iron at $41,000.
He said there is enough funding in the water department budget, but he and city officials do not think it is wise to drain that fund.
Koch also told the council he is 100 percent sure there is funding available through loans from Department of Natural Resources to help the city fund the project, although the Sept. 27 date on that round of funding is quickly approaching and he didn’t know if there was enough time to get the paperwork completed for that round of loans. Another round for funding will come up in November.
“We are going to ask if there is a possibility of grant funding,” Koch said, “but your water rates are below the state level required for grant funding. It doesn’t look very good, but we will ask.”
For the loan, he said it would cost about $1.75 per month on current water bills to pay for the loan funding. He said re-bidding is not a good idea as he expected the cost of the project to keep increasing with time. He said there is enough funding to award the project and secure funding for the rest later. He said the city could use the reserves as collateral to secure the 20-year, 3.25 percent loan, raise the water rates later, and never have to touch the reserves.
He explained the increase in the water bill could be spread out over time until the city begins to repay the loan.
He said with grant funding, the water rates would have to be increased to the state minimum of $25. With the loan, water rates would have to increase to the $1.75 per month. He said they will apply and ask for grant funding, but he didn’t think grant funding would be awarded.
“Sisseton is the only community I know that has lower water rates than Mobridge,” he said. “You have great water here and it will be even better once we get the tower completed.”
The council discussed trying to meet the Sept. 27, deadline for the next round of additional loan funding. The council approved authorizing the mayor to sign the papers for loan funding to cover the remainder of the project and to table the bids for that project until funding can be secured.
– Katie Zerr –