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Tonight's vote could be a killer for Keller

Andy Ouriel • Oct 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Independence Excavating — located in Independence, Ohio — submitted a bid of $448,500 to demolish the Keller Buildingand remove asbestos inside it sometime next year.

Seven other companies also submitted bids, all of which exceeded Independence’s price.

A vote by the seven city commissioners during a public meeting is slated for 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 222 Meigs St.   Sandusky officials originally pegged the cost for demolition and asbestos removal at $550,000. The city intends to borrow up to $400,000 from tax revenue generated by the Chesapeake Lofts and $150,000 in city funds.

Click HERE to download and read tonight's city commission agenda

Construction costs, however, could still reach $500,000, despite Independence’s bid price coming in at almost $100,000 under the previous estimate.

“Due to the uncertainty of underground conditions … and a variety of other possible unknown conditions typical of downtown demolition projects, it is very important to have a contingency for this project,” Sandusky engineer Aaron Klein wrote in a memo to commissioners.

Fears about safety risks peaked in February 2012 when a brick fell from the abandoned Keller Building’s chimney and plummeted several stories onto West Shoreline Drive. No one was injured.

Bricks have routinely fallen from the structure, and city officials have blocked off the street — a main corridor leading from the Paper District Marina into the downtown business district — since then.

Bids collected

Governments typically bid out projects to create a competitive marketplace in which multiple companies can try to underbid each other without sacrificing quality, saving taxpayer dollars.

These are the companies that submitted bids to demolish the Keller Building:

• Baumann Enterprises; Garfield Heights: $516,900

• B & B Wrecking & Excavating, Cleveland: $527,000

• Dore & Associates Contracting; Bay City, Mich.: $517,700

• Ed Burdue & Co.; Sandusky: $579,100

• Empire Dismantlement; Grand Island, N.Y.: $837,000

• Independence Excavating; Independence: $448,500

• Marko Demolition & Crushing; Genoa: $544,900

• Total Wrecking & Environmental; Buffalo, N.Y.: $596,000

Source: Sandusky engineering department

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