Cortez awards bid for new businesses’ fiber services

Project will connect Osprey and other new buildings

Dirt work was underway in 2016 for the new courthouse building at Park and Driscoll streets, one of the buildings the city of Cortez will provide with middle-mile fiber services. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/The Journal

Dirt work was underway in 2016 for the new courthouse building at Park and Driscoll streets, one of the buildings the city of Cortez will provide with middle-mile fiber services.

On Tuesday the Cortez City Council awarded a bid to the Durango company DAK Drilling and Well Service for a fiber construction project set to begin this year.

The project will install two miles of fiber designed to improve internet connections for the new Osprey Packs headquarters, the new Southwest Memorial Hospital wing and the new combined Montezuma County courthouse, as well as the Cortez Police Department. Out of the five companies that bid, the Cortez City Council voted to hire DAK, the lowest bidder, at the recommendation of General Services Manager Rick Smith. The bid award was one of several information technology and construction-related items the council voted on during their meeting.

“This project will provide a critical secondary path for city fiber from the Service Center into town,” he said in his presentation to the council.

Fiber will be installed along County Road L, Mildred Road and Empire Street, ending in the Roger Smith Avenue area. The fiber will allow the city to provide or improve “middle-mile” internet services for the new buildings in that area, helping them connect to the city’s existing fiber network.

The council voted to pay DAK $154,873 for the fiber installation. Smith said the city has worked with the company before and found it to be reliable. After DAK, the least expensive bidder was Circle Zebra Fabricators, a national company with a location in Cortez, at a total of $200,053. The money will come from the city’s Community Network budget and a Department of Local Affairs grant.

According to DAK’s website, the company specializes in well drilling, but also offers cable services.

The council also awarded a bid for an engineering study on the Cortez Recreation Center’s heating and air conditioning systems to ME&E Engineering Inc., another Durango company. That bid was for a total of $15,940, which will pay for an inspection of the building’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system and recommendations for repairs. After the engineering study, the city may extend the company’s contract to pay for the HVAC repairs themselves.

“ME&E also did the assessment of the new City Hall, and I think we had a pretty positive experience with them,” Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist said.

In other new business, the council voted to increase the hourly compensation for independent contractors Chris Burkett and Doug Roth. Burkett, who works as a grants and projects administrator for the city, will receive a 3 percent wage increase, from $41 to $42.23 per hour. Compensation for Roth, a geographic information systems contractor, will go up from $35 to $40 per hour.