Champlin reviews roundabout landscaping estimate, bids

By Megan Hopps

SUN PRESS Newspapers


The City of Champlin Monday, Aug. 25, heard an update about the West River Road/Hayden Lake Road roundabout project and, specifically, its landscaping design and cost. Furthermore, the council heard from resident James Busing regarding a neighbor who would like to split his lot.



The only item on the consent agenda involved awarding the bid and contract to the West River Road and Hayden Lake Road landscaping improvement project. Councilor Eric Johnson requested that the item be pulled for further discussion because the cost of the bids did not match what was estimated by the engineer for the project.

“It seemed like the estimates and the actual numbers were all over the board and the actual bid was 30-some percent higher than the actual estimate,” said councilor Johnson. “Can you give a little background as to what happened with this?”

“For this particular project the estimate was done earlier in the spring and it was not updated,” said City Engineer Tim Hanson. “The biggest item that was considerably out-of-whack was the irrigation item.”

Councilor Johnson then asked if the city should look into sending the bids out again, considering the bids came in $40,000 to $50,000 higher than the estimate.

City Administrator Bret Heitkamp assured him it would be discussed among staff. “What was the amount reduced on grading?” he asked.

“The contractor cut that in half to $15,000 on the grading item,” answered Hanson. “But as far as rebidding, we did take a look at that. Because we could not get that done yet this fall, we would have to do restoration in some fashion and then next year come back to tear that out and re-do it. In essence, you’d have to have a significantly lower bid to make it worth while and in the bidding climate that we have, we don’t see that occurring.”

Administrator Heitkamp explained that between the three bids that were received, the bids were not far apart. There was, however, a discrepancy between the engineer’s estimate and the bids themselves. There was also differences in the cost of the grading, but the engineer was able to work with the contractor to lower the cost.

“Is the project as a whole under budget?” asked Johnson.

Engineer Hanson said that the street portion is coming in under budget.

Mayor ArMand Nelson asked, “What would we have to do this year that we would rip out next year?”

“We would have to establish turf,” Hanson replied. “And then you’re contaminating areas that were meant to be non-grassed, so you’d have to clear that out in the spring.”

Due to the fact that the project as a whole is coming in under budget, the council approved a motion to move forward with the project.


Lot split

In other news, resident James Buesing spoke in open forum regarding a neighbor that would like to make a lot split near his home.

The property requesting a lot split is located at 11912 Mississippi Drive. The city is considering amending an ordinance that would allow Buesing’s neighbor to split his lot and build on it. Busing expressed his concerns at a previous meeting because he was not notified of the lot split. If his neighbor builds on the property, this will affect Busing’s river front view and decrease his property value. Buesing describes the steps the city took to tailor its existing ordinance to meet his neighbor’s request as a “flawed process.”

“I was surprised that all the things that weren’t done right were basically swept under the rug,” said Busing. “I’m here to request that someone contact me within a week to talk about what we can do to reverse the action or compensate those that have been unduly affected by it.”

Buesing requested that Champlin staff contact him to talk through what the options are.

“This isn’t the way it should be played and it shouldn’t be up to me to make sure its a fair and even playing field,” said Buesing.



City staff and council also:

REVIEWED two projects involving the construction of a garage addition of over 1,000 sq. ft. at 5824 Riverview Lane and 10974 Goose Lake Road.

DISCUSSED a conditional use permit to construct an attached deck into a drainage and utility easement at 6216 114th Place North.

All projects were approved by the council.

There will be a budget work session Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. in the council conference room. There is a council work session scheduled for Monday, Sept. 8, at 5:45 p.m. in the council conference room. An Economic Authority meeting will be held at 6:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, in the council chambers and the city council meeting will convene afterwards at 7 p.m. There will be an Economic Development Authority executive session following the council meeting.


Contact Megan Hopps at