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City decides not to let bid to any engineering firm

BONNE TERRE – After reviewing estimates provided by three engineering companies, the majority of the Bonne Terre City Council decided not to hire any of them.

Last week, Taylor Engineering of Farmington, Metropolitan Engineering of Barnhart, and Sam Smith and Company Engineers of Poplar Bluff, talked about the services they could offer for Church Street. After the three firms left, members of the council indicated they favored two of the three firms.

But a week later, councilwomen Cindy Driemeier and Janet Barton questioned whether they needed an engineer at all since the new curbing and guttering has already been installed by the city.

There was also some concern with inconsistency in estimates provided by the companies.

City Manager Larry Hughes said Smith gave an estimate of $2,500 while Taylor and Metropolitan gave estimates closer to $20,000.

Hughes said the estimates from Taylor and Metropolitan included extensive engineering work which they probably wouldn’t need while Smith provided estimates for core drilling, surveying and advising.

Councilman Gene Archer made a motion to approve Smith as the engineer but only he and Mayor Sue Wilke voted for the company. Greg Tyree, Barton and Driemeier voted against it.

On Wednesday morning, Hughes was unclear as to where the city would go from here. He didn’t know if the city council will decide whether to just repave it, totally redo the street, or let the contractor decide what needs to be done.

Hughes said he wanted an engineer to tell them how much of the street needed to be completely redone and how much could just be repaved. He said he worries that without an engineer, the road won’t be done right and won’t last as long.

He said he felt like $2,500 was a fair price for that kind of work.

Archer also said he felt $2,500 was a small amount to make sure the heavily-traveled road is done right.

The street has been in bad shape for some time and is getting worse now that city crews are digging up sections of the street to replace utility lines. He said the utility line project on the street is half complete.

The city had hoped to get the road finished by the end of the year, using money generated from the sales tax for street improvements.

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