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      Newcomb Hotel cleanup slated to start in February

      Newcomb cleanup is expected to begin in mid- to late-February and be completed near the end of March.

      Removal of debris from the site of the Newcomb Hotel in Quincy could begin next month.

      The Quincy City Council voted 9 to 5 Tuesday to use TIF money to fund the project. The council passed a resolution Tuesday night authorizing the use of $441,224 to pay a contractor for debris removal.

      The cleanup is expected to begin in mid- to late-February and be completed near the end of March.

      City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer said the city received two proposals for the cleanup.

      His staff chose BSB Development Inc. out of Spring Grove, Illinois, to handle the cleanup. Spring Grove is located in northeast Illinois just south of the Wisconsin state line.

      Although the proposal offered by BSB was about $60,000 more than that of the other contractor, Bevelheimer said BSB was chosen because it could better handle the winter conditions. Also, BSB would start cleanup within a week of a finalized contract - the other contractor would have taken 30 days.

      "What we did was bring in the two lowest contractors and we met with them to go through the demolition process - how they would work in these weather conditions, how many trucks they had to move debris, how fast they could move debris, how they do dust control, as well as what type of security performance guarantees they were going to give us," Bevelheimer said.

      "BSB had the strongest track record, and what we felt was the strongest program to get this project cleaned up. The last thing we need is another delay and more problems with this site," he added.

      Bevelheimer stressed that proposals for the cleanup were not received as part of a typical bid system. The city had the right to reject all proposals and was not required to accept the lowest bid.

      It will take another 2 to 3 weeks to draft a final contract.

      "The next step in the process is to get the contract put together, get both parties to agree on the language in the contract. Issues like what constitutes a work day in terms of weather has to be worked out. BSB told us it would be 4 to 6 weeks to get it done," he said.

      Another factor that was considered was the salvaging of architectural pieces from the building. BSB Development will not charge extra to help the city with that salvage.

      "We felt BSB would work with us on removing some of the architectural details whereas (the other contractor) would charge us time and materials for that," Bevelheimer said.