Archived Story

RTC demo deadline extension in House bill

Published 2:44pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Updated 2:48pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A two-year extension for the Regional Treatment Center demolition funding deadline has made it to the bonding bill at the legislative house level. Now city officials will have to wait and see if the Senate includes it as well, according to Mayor Hal Leland.

The current deadline to request reimbursement for up to $5 million in demolition funds is December 2014. If the extension is included in the final bonding bill, it would extend the deadline to December 2016. Grant funds would not be increased in the proposed legislative action.

Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls) and city representatives spoke to the capital investment committee in the legislative house last week regarding the extension. All signs from that meeting were positive in hopes of getting the extension included in the bonding bill, according to city officials.

“Every indication that we got… is they were very happy to see us there asking for it,” council member Jay Cichosz said.

Despite the positive direction of the meeting, the city still needs to work on the plans and specifications for the demolition of the RTC around the current deadline, since the extension is not a done deal yet. City Engineer Dan Edwards discussed the schedule with the Public Works and Safety Committee at its meeting this morning.

The tentative plan was for the city council to approve the plans and specifications, along with authorizing the ad for bids, May 6, but the committee agreed to delay these items until May 20. No official action was taken. Mayor Leland said he wanted discussion from the full council on the RTC demolition.

By waiting until May 20 for the plan approval, they hope to have their answer by then regarding the bonding bill, according to Cichosz.

“I think we absolutely have to push back,” said committee member Tim Rundquist.

The current plan for the RTC is to preserve the tower, administration, auditorium, garage storage buildings and kitchen buildings. The remaining buildings would be demolished, according to a memo from Edwards to the committee. The tentative schedule includes work starting August 1 in order to meet the current funding deadline.

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