Bids for the Chestnut Street Plaza Project were opened on Tuesday May 11. The city received three bids, with Pember Companies submitting the lowest bid in the amount of approximately $3.2 million given at the May 17 Stillwater City Council meeting

The total estimated cost of the project, with engineering and design, is $3.6 million. There is currently $2.6 million dedicated to the project, with funds coming from Minnesota Department of Transportation and tax increment F sources. That still leaves the city short roughly $1 million.

Regarding possible additional funding, Director of Public Works Shawn Sanders said, “We want to wait to see what we’ll get from the legislature to see if we’re going to be part of their bonding bill.” And added that “the city administrator and finance director are also going to look at possible additional sources to make up for that shortfall.”

Potential funding sources to cover the shortfall include additional funding from the city and from the Minnesota Legislature, where the city is requesting up to $6 million in a bonding bill to fund riverfront projects, including the Chestnut Street Plaza Project

“When we were awarded $2 million to do this block and a half project from Main Street to the bridge, I thought to myself that we are going to have an unbelievably beautiful plaza,” said council member Dave Junker. “Now two years later the project cost has gone up to $3.6 million.”

With the city short $1 million for the estimated project cost, Sanders stressed the urgency of securing new funding sources.

Mayor Ted Kozlowski also acknowledged the need as well.

“I want to make sure our lobbyists are aware of this,” Kozlowski said. “There are delays on our end, but the state hung us up on a lot of this stuff in ways we didn’t anticipate. Let’s make sure everyone at the capitol is aware of this.”

Pending news on viable sources, including the bonding bill, staff will report back at the June 7 City Council meeting with updates and possibly award the contract to Pember Companies.

In other news

Stephen Papke, who was born and raised in Stillwater, was sworn in at the council meeting as a police officer, while Officer Brandon Gunderson was promoted to Sergeant. Gunderson previously received a Purple Heart medal from his time in the United States Army.

Kozlowski also made a proclamation that May 28 would be the official 150th anniversary for the Stillwater Fire Department.

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