North Idaho

CdA city council approves $14.6M bid for McEuen Park development

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Thursday evening the Coeur d'Alene City Council approved a $14.6 million bid by Contractors Northwest for the McEuen Park project.

Riddled with controversy from the very beginning, after years of debate, the McEuen Park project is finally taking shape in the Coeur d'Alene.

Major construction work is expected to get underway in a few weeks but it couldn't start until the City Council voted on a contractor.

Six contractors put in bids, ranging from $14.6 million to $17.7 million. Two of the bids were below the city's estimates of the project.

McEuen Park bid vo

"We were very happy with the range," Wendy Gabriel, Coeur d'Alene City Administrator, said.

Contractors Northwest, Inc. was the lowest bidder at $14.6 million and Gabriel said the city staff recommended the City Council approve the bid, which they did Thursday evening.

"It feels absolutely great. It's been a hard project to work on, a lot of controversy getting it to this point," Gabriel said.  

But the controversy over McEuen Park isn't done yet. For years, Frank Orzell has been an outspoken critic of the city's handling of the project. He says there's no way the project can be done for $14 million.

"I think it's somewhat meaningless because that's the one number that will not be the final cost of this project," he said.

The city says they have $15.3 million dollars to fund the project. Since Contractors Northwest bid is below that number, Gabriel says they should have $600,000 in contingency funding.

"That is for things that we don't know when we start digging into the ground and find things we weren't aware of," Gabriel said.

However, Orzell doesn't think that number is enough.

"I haven't seen anything that shows how they came up with that," he said.

Construction is expected to start on March 18 and the city said the whole project should be done by next May.