HAMMOND — The City Council decided Tuesday to reject bids on construction of the airport traffic control tower at Hammond’s Northshore Regional Airport because the contractors’ offers all came in over budget.
Airport Director Jason Ball told the council that estimates for the tower’s construction cost had been placed between $1 million and $1.3 million.
Ball said, however, the lowest bid was $1.7 million and the highest went up to $2.07 million. Ball said that all three bids were far higher than architects and engineers had forecast and that the city’s only option would be to re-work the tower’s plans and re-bid the project.
Ball said that engineers will simplify the design and take off some items that are not essential such as building with the possibility of later expanding the facility. He said he was confident the engineers can probably put together a tower project that will fit into the budget.
Northshore Regional Airport has needed a control tower for the past several years because of increased air traffic related to the arrival of the Louisiana Army National Guard Aviation Facility following Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. Customs Service also uses the airport.
Other matters considered at the meeting included:
PARK HOURS: The council set operating hours of the city’s parks from dawn to dusk.
Council President Jason Hood said residents had complained that some of the parks were being used late into the night and posed a risk in adjacent neighborhoods.
Under the new ordinance, parks will be allowed to remain open after dusk for properly permitted activities authorized by the city Recreation Department.
Certain lighted areas of the parks may also be used until 10 p.m. if those areas are designated as extended play areas by the department.
SALES TAXES: Mayor Mayson Foster announced that sales tax receipts for the month of May were up 8.1 percent over the same month in the previous year. He said that about $1.5 million in sales taxes were collected.
Foster said the city expects to finish the 2012-13 fiscal year June 30 with an $800,000 surplus in the sales tax fund.
DRAINAGE WORK: The council agreed to transfer $80,000 from the North Oak Street Improvement Project to the Drainage Improvements Project.
The money will be spent on drainage improvements on Rue Cannes in Villa West subdivision.