Mundelein trustees reject bid for lot improvements, citing cost estimate

Mundelein trustees have rejected a contractor's bid to improve a grassy lot in the downtown area because the work would cost significantly more than expected.

Officials may look for ways to scale back the project, which was designed to turn the roughly 4,000-square-foot lot at 22 E. Park St. into a public gathering place.

The village-owned lot is on the same block officials close to auto traffic during warmer weather so restaurants on the block can serve customers outdoors. Mundelein bought the land this year for $55,000.

Mundelein's plans call for picnic benches and tables, climbable furniture for kids, a paved pad for food trucks or food kiosks, overhead lighting and other elements. It could complement the seasonal outdoor dining area or be its own attraction, officials have said.

The lot already has one eye-catching feature - a large mural about Mundelein that's on the east side of the Area Coffee building.

The development of the lot was expected to cost between $75,000 and $100,000. But the company that bid on the job estimated the cost of landscaping, installing brick walkways and other tasks at $444,148, Adam Boeche, Mundelein's public works and engineering director, said in a memo.

Available village documents didn't identify the bidder.

"It may be more beneficial to examine the scope of the project to reduce the cost," Boeche wrote.

Trustee Jenny Ross was surprised the bid came in so much higher than the estimate.

"That's a huge jump," she said.

Ross thinks the bid might've been so high because available contractors are in shorter supply. The cost of construction materials has been rising. too, she said.

"It is just kind of a crazy (time) right now, especially with the supply chain issues," Ross said.

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  Mundelein officials want to turn the vacant lot at 22 E. Park Street, shown earlier this year, into a public gathering space. Paul Valade/
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