Austin City Council approves bid for library renovation and construction project at Monday evening meeting

The Austin City Council unanimously approved the bid of the Joseph Company of $1,551,000 for a renovation and construction project at the Austin Public Library at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening at the Austin City Council chambers.  The Joseph Company’s bid was the lowest of four received by the city for the project, and Julie Cleinfelter, Head Librarian at the public library stated to the council in a memo that the construction bids did not include an amphitheater that was included in a grant for the project from the Minnesota Department of Education. The amphitheater will not be a part of the project, as Cleinfelter stated in the memo that the funds that were allocated to the amphitheater in the grant will be used instead to update the building’s restrooms.  She went on to state that the Austin Public Library will be raising funds to pay back $100,000 of the advanced funding for the project, plus all other contingencies, and the project will include a 1,708 square foot addition on the west side of the building that will serve as a project room for various craft and educational projects, and also as an office and a storage room.  The project will also include replacing the existing service desk, three new rooms to be added in the existing porch area to be used for quiet study, extending the existing canopy on the east side of the building’s entry to cover the existing book drop-off box, and an upgrade of existing alarm systems.  

In other business Monday evening, the Austin City Council approved a housing tax abatement application from New Horizon Homes, LLC of Kasson for a residence at 2107 14th Avenue NE in the estimated amount of $495,000, and they also approved the bid of Hanson Hauling and Excavating of Austin of $18,560 for the demolition of a commercial building at 408 4th Avenue NW.  Public Works Director Steven Lang stated to the council that the existing garage structure at that address will be relocated to Kaufman Park to be used as a warming house and storage area.  The council also approved the installation of a stop sign at 27th Avenue and 11th St. NW, and the council also approved a contract with WHKS of Rochester in the amount of $12,500 for design engineering services for the upcoming Institute lift station project.

The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Austin City Council will be held on Monday, November 7th at the City Council chambers.