Wellness center contract talks begin

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At its Jan. 3 meeting, the Seward City Council:

• heard an update on the Seward Wellness Center. City Administrator Greg Butcher said contract negotiations with BVH Architecture for work on the project have begun and should be wrapped up for council approval at its Jan. 17 meeting.

• amended the city code to allow use of a Construction Manager at Risk method for building projects, specifically related to the Seward Wellness Center.

The ordinance follows the Political Subdivision Construction Alternatives Act in state statute and will allow the city to bring a contractor on board for the project during the design phase to help eliminate problems during construction and to bring the price down to a guaranteed cost.

Butcher said this method also allows the city to bid the project in “pods” instead of waiting for the whole project to be designed first. For example, the grading and dirt work can be started while the light fixtures are still being chosen. The city will conduct interviews with multiple contractors before making a selection, just like it did with the design firm.

• awarded Community Development Block Grant forgivable loans for downtown revitalization projects to Tina and Jon Marroquin and IH Feary LLC to replace the second story windows in the building at 139 S. Sixth St., formerly occupied by Barry Law, in the amount of $5,428.50; and to Rich and Roxann O’Hare to replace the upstairs windows at 636 Seward St., the location of Cosmic Cow, for $13,575.

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