[MissoulaGov] Committee Update 8/2/07

David Strohmaier dstrohmaier at msn.com
Thu Aug 2 13:34:52 MDT 2007


Dave Strohmaier here, pinch hitting for Bob on Wednesday morning's City
Council festivities. Conservation Committee was dedicated exclusively to
discussing the recent bids on completing the 50-meter pool at Splash
Montana. By way of background, the lowest bid was from L. S. Jensen and came
in at approximately $250,000 over the project's construction budget. (The
City of Missoula and Swim Missoula are equal partners on the project, and at
this date Swim Missoula has raised about $400,000 to add to the City's
$800,000 commitment.) In light of the over-budget low bid, Swim Missoula,
Parks Dept., Cost Management Engineers, and the architect, attempted "value
engineering" with L. S. Jensen, who eventually lowered their bid to within
$105,000 of our budgeted amount. "Risk factors," such as the risk of
working with the city, were purportedly a major factor in Jensen's high bid.
This rationale was less than fully transparent to me, and the council wasn't
willing to fork out any additional funds at this juncture. Suffice it to
say, the council voted to reject all bids and return bid bonds.

A new round of bidding was advertised on July 29 (with a somewhat more
limited scope that modifies the original specifications for backfill
material, powder coating, gravel fill, deposition site for fill material,
etc.), and bids will be opened August 10. Swim Missoula feels that it can
raise another $20-30,000, if need be. If bids still come in high, we'll miss
the fall window for construction and will need to rethink our approach to
the project. As a backup plan, Councilman Ballas requested that staff
consider advertising a "deductive option" within the next few days for a
pool with only six lanes (as opposed to 8). However, according to Donna
Gaukler with Parks & Rec, six lanes will eliminate our ability to hold state
meets. Some conversation ensued regarding 8 vs. 6 lanes, with some council
members concerned that putting out the six lane option for bid might impede
our ability to get good bids for the 8 lane pool. Should all the bids come
in over budget once again, we'll miss our construction window this fall and
will likely need to reevaluate the scope of the project.
In PAZ we took up two items: a subdivision at 709 Parkview Way and proposed
revisions to our subdivision regulations. The Parkview Way subdivision is a
minor, two-lot subdivision on a parcel zoned R-1. While the subdivision
complies with zoning, the biggest concern among council members focused on
drainage of the site. Namely, a number of council members expressed concern
that both surface and subsurface drainage associated with a perennial
pond/riparian area on the site hasn't been adequately studied and that the
conditions of subdivision approval do not adequately address these concerns.
In the end, the committee voted 6-3 to recommend denial of the subdivision.
Unfortunately, since this was a minor subdivision, we didn't benefit from
Planning Board review (minors are not reviewed by the PB). We'll have a
final vote on this before the full council on August 6.

Next, and at long last, PAZ committee unanimously recommended approval of
the revised subdivision regulations. The two amendments that we finalized
today included incorporating the term "wildland-urban interface" (I can't
recall offhand what the original term was), and modifying Article 3-7, which
deals with minimum lot size relative to public wastewater and public water
supply systems. After many months of haggling over the subdivision
regulations, spontaneous applause broke out following our vote.

I believe that Stacy Rye will provide a synopsis of the afternoon's


Dave Strohmaier
508 E. Pine
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 327-8911, home
(406) 721-1958, office

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