Old Stoney bids higher than expected

By Sarah Pridgeon

When the bids for the Old Stoney rejuvenation project were opened on December 20, they came in significantly higher than expected. Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lenz reported to the council last week that the low bid was almost half a million dollars above the grant money available.

The Crook County Museum District and City of Sundance applied to the State Lands and Investments Board for a grant for Old Stoney last year; Lenz reminded the council that the contingency portion of the request was stripped out before that funding was granted. This lowered the final grant total by $500,000, bringing it to $2.45 million.

The possibility remains that the project could be bid out for a second time, said Lenz. However, Lyle Murtha of Stateline No. 7 Architects will first go over the project line by line to see if it can be stripped down to remove the $486,701 overage in the low bid.

“Given that, there is no room for error – there is no contingency in this project,” she said.

The project could not go ahead without stripping it back to the grant amount, Lenz explained, because the museum district does not have the money available to cover the difference and the city’s role was to sponsor and assist with the grant application, so it’s not the city’s project to fund. An alternative source of funding would be required, Lenz said.

The architect and low bidder are optimistic that they will be able to reign the project back enough to match the grant funding, said Lenz. If they are able to do so, the city will either be asked to hold a special meeting to consider the issue or it will be placed before the council at their regular February meeting.