The Silver Bay City Council passed a resolution Monday, March 18, to award a contract to the lowest bidder for the Black Beach Campground site improvements project.

The council voted 4-1 to award the contract with a few conditions and with councilor Carlene Perfetto dissenting.

Joe Rhein, on behalf of city engineering firm Bolton and Menk, presented the council with the bid report. The city received 12 bids for the estimated $1.67 million contract, with Grand Rapids-based TNT Aggregates submitting the low-base bid.

"Unfortunately, all of those bids were in excess of what our estimate was by about $100,000," Rhein said. "So we then went through the process of reviewing the alternate items and we had structured the contract so that you could choose any combination of the alternates that you wanted."

The contract included 12 alternate items to possibly be included with the construction contract. Rhein recommended removing six of these items as in his experience, these items could be purchased directly from manufacturers for lower costs and easily installed following the construction. These items removed included the picnic tables, fire rings, trash bins and vault toilets.

If the bid is accepted with the change order and the selected alternates and the six remaining items are purchased as anticipated, the total construction cost is estimated at $1.66 million - about $18,500 less than anticipated.

"Assuming everything goes to plan - knock on wood - things are tracking right on the budget we'd established last summer," Rhein said.

Construction is anticipated to begin this summer.