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Facility $270,000 over budget

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Since bids for a Dickinson Public Transit building came in about $270,000 over budget, the project will be delayed until next year.

Elder Care provides transportation and meals for disabled and elderly residents. The general public can also use the taxi service, Public Transit. Service will not be affected because of the delay.

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"The whole plans were that the building would be ready in November, but because of this situation, we're going to have to rebid it out and we're looking at next year for a building," said Colleen Rodakowski, executive director of Elder Care and Public Transit. "You can't turn this around very quickly to get built this year yet."

The building will house staff for both services and will also provide a garage to keep vehicles, said Bill Fahlsing, city information technology manager and public information officer.

The project cannot exceed $1.1 million. The North Dakota Department of Transportation will use stimulus money and $33,500 from the city's contingency fund will be used to fund it, Fahlsing said.

Elder Care and Public Transit had to move into the Public Works building in December because the roof was leaking on the building they were in.

"We wanted to get the building done to have a permanent home for them," Fahlsing said.

He added the rush to get it done could have been why the bids came back high.

"They're hoping by bidding it this late in the year ... it would hopefully give the construction companies enough time to get the building up, get supplies ordered, things of that nature," Fahlsing said. "Hopefully that will help lower the bid."

If the bids still come back over budget, building plans will be altered, he added.

"If that doesn't lower the bids enough then we go back and look at the design of the building and redesign the building until we can meet that $1.1 million bid," Fahlsing said.

The rebid process is expected to be final in November and construction should begin in the spring, he said. It will go up in north Dickinson, near Wal-Mart, he added.

"Once the building is done, that building and land is turned over to the city and the city will maintain all operating costs related to that building," Fahlsing said.

Rodakowski said the Public Works building fits their needs for now.

"We're comfortable here," she said. "The hard part is that our vehicles are not in a garage, but they haven't been yet to date either, so it's not that it's anything new for us."

City officials haven't decided what to do with the building on West Broadway that Elder Care and Public Transit moved out of, Fahlsing said.

Options include selling it, using it as a city pound or for storage, Fahlsing said.

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