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Council approves CM contract

FAIRMONT– On Monday evening the Fairmont City Council considered a contract with Kraus-Anderson for construction manager (CM) services for the proposed community center.

City Administrator Cathy Reynolds said that the selection of Kraus Anderson was approved back at the April 25 council meeting and that negations have now concluded with the assistance of Tegra, the city’s owner representative. The total for reconstruction services is $72,520 but Kraus Anderson has put in a discount of $48,000 on the reconstruction services when the guaranteed maximum price is approved for construction services.

“As the construction manager, they would be doing the cost estimating and value engineering for any of the design work that’s being done by the architect, 292 Design Group,” Reynolds said.

She said that staff recommends approval of the contract.

Council Member Wayne Hasek questioned why they would approve the contract if not all of the money has been raised for the project yet.

Council Member Bruce Peters said he continues to vote yes to move the project forward because he’d like to see a set price so they can put a date on the fundraising, and get cash in hand, as quickly as they can.

Council Member Randy Lubenow asked why the council continues to “rake people who want to invest in the community over the coals.” He said it’s disappointing.

“Pledge money. Let’s be specific. This is pledged money, not cash on hand that can be used tomorrow,” said Council Member Michele Miller.

The council was referring to the $6 million that the Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation was tasked with raising for the project. Late last summer the Rosen family, Krahmer family and Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont partnered together and pledged $4.5 million.

Council Member Britney Kawecki referenced Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center’s new addition, as well as the cancer wing at Mayo in Fairmont and how important pledges were to those projects.

“I would recommend that everyone take the time to go and meet with them. Without pledges, neither one of those organizations would exist,” Kawecki said.

Miller pointed out that while pledge money is great, the resolution that was passed in December 2019 was for cash in hand.

Mayor Deb Foster agreed that the majority of the council had decided to get the money in the bank. Peters added that he continues to vote yes to see the project move forward.

Kawecki said that she thinks the public knows how the council members feel, but that the council was asked by a Foundation member how they want the money and the answer was cash in hand. She said she thinks the council needs to stop bringing it up.

“We look pathetic. It’s embarrassing,” Kawecki said.

“I’m embarrassed to be on this council,” said Hasek.

In a 4-1 vote, the contract with Kraus-Anderson for construction manager services was approved.

In other news, the council recognized several city employees on their years of service:

— David Schultz, wastewater– 30 years.

— Sgt. James Kotewa, police– 25 years.

— David Hinz, electric– 25 years.

— Tyler Cowing, engineering– 10 years.

In other action, the council:

— Approved a lease agreement with UHD (United Hospital District) for office space in the Southern Minnesota Educational Campus (SMEC) building.

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