Making project locally bid may speed up process

The Frisco Depot was the topic of more discussion Monday night for the Augusta City Council.
The project was finally approved after several years of applying for KDOT grants to help fund it. The governing body began considering drawings and design for the project early this year.
City Manager Josh Shaw told the council making the project a locally bid project that is reimbursed by KDOT rather than a project bid out by the state agency would simplify the project a great deal.
“If we continue with the other method, we will still be months away from construction,” Shaw said. “We have a state agency that is responsible for designing roads and bridges approving building designs. Rather than continuing to try to fit a round peg in a square hole, I think we should bring the bidding back to the local level.”
Shaw said there have been many small details that have caused significant delays in the project, so far. He said he believes the change approved by the council will accelerate the process.
The council also approved a measure that could allow the city to apply for tax credits to offset some of the construction costs for the depot renovation. But that proposal was not approved unanimously.
Councilor Ron Reavis said he understood that the tax credits could defray some of the costs of the project but he took issue with the $1,500 filing fee.
“They are just nickel and diming us to death,” Reavis said. “It seems like that every meeting we approve another increase.”
The proposal to apply for tax credits was approved 7-1.

Kent Bush can be reached at