LOOGOOTEE – The Loogootee City Council opened two bids for a stormwater improvement project Monday night, but they were $400,000 apart in price.

Mayor Noel Harty said last year the city received a Community Crossings grant of about $760,000 to help fund the project, which will be done this year. He said the city was required to pay at least 25 percent of the project’s cost, but the bids came in higher than city officials hoped. That means the city will have to pay more than 25 percent.

The low base bid came from E & B Paving, Bloomington, at $1,317,039. The proposal also included two alternate bids, which would result in deductions of $50,000 and $30,000, respectively.

Milestone Construction, Bloomington, submitted a base bid of $1,719,737. The two alternate bids were deductions of $56,528 and $1,200, respectively.

Midwestern Engineers, Loogootee, will review the bids and make a recommendation to the council.

Harty said a special council meeting will be scheduled soon. Feb. 24 is the deadline for the city to submit paperwork about the grant to the Indiana Department of Transportation, including which bid was accepted.

Councilman Carroll Rayhill was absent, because he was out of town.

In other business, the council:

Approved a contract with Matrix Integration, Jasper, for up to $4,000 annually for technical support for computers.

Approved the purchase of a new pump for the lift station near K-Line Industries for $8,495, from Straeffer Pump & Supply, Chandler.

Approved $2,000 for the Martin County Alliance, which promotes economic development.

Agreed to have German American Insurance take over the city’s property and casualty insurance policies April 1. The company will also provide safety training. Councilman Rick Norris said city employees were not receiving proper service from the current insurance provider.

Agreed to increase fines for violating city ordinances concerning grass and trash from $25-$100 per day to $50-$250 per day.

Harty encouraged those attending the council meeting to attend the Mid-States Corridor public information meeting to be held at Loogootee High School Feb. 18 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A new highway has been proposed, which would run from Rockport to Interstate 69 through the Huntingburg/Jasper area.

The Loogootee meeting is the first of three to discuss the Tier I environmental impact statement. The other meetings will be Feb. 19 at Bedford Middle School and Feb. 20 at Jasper Middle School.

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