Bids open for moving Home Sweet Home

Jill Schramm/MDN The bids for moving of the Home Sweet Home structure were officially opened Friday morning at City Hall.

Only two bids were received for the moving of the Home Sweet Home structure. The bids were officially opened Friday morning at City Hall and differed greatly in price.

Craft Builders submitted a bid of $930,029. Dig It Up Backhoe Service submitted a bid of $565,770. The city had earlier estimated the cost of the project at $600,000 to $650,000. The bids were for digging and constructing a foundation, meeting any requirements for asbestos abatement and moving the house onto the new foundation.

The location of Home Sweet Home, where a gift shop business operated for several years, is 103 4th Avenue NW. The house is to be relocated across the street. The city, which purchased the home earlier this year for $432,000, has previously said they intend to sell the house after it is moved.

The purchase was made using primarily National Disaster Resilience funds in the wake of the 2011 flood that inundated much of the city. The purchase was necessary because of a determination by the State Historical Society that the home was “historic.” Historical Preservation Officer Lorna Meidinger explained that “any time federal dollars or federal permits are involved, we have to look at affected properties.”

There are four criteria to consider when determining if a property falls under the designation of historic. They are if the building was involved in a social event or represents a trend in history, association with a prominent person of historical significance, unusual architecture or design or contains archeological potential to review information about the past.

“In this case it was the design itself,” said Meidinger. “It’s a very unique house. I’ve not seen another like it in North Dakota. It was actually deemed historic in 1985.”

Essentially, explained Meidinger, the acquisition by the city of the Home Sweet Home house is mitigation for the clearing out of other sites within the city to make room for flood control structures.

“Tearing things down is always an adverse effect on historic properties,” said Meidinger. “We have to look at alternatives. Is there a different way?”

The bids opened yesterday will be presented for consideration to the city’s Committee of the Whole which is scheduled to meet next Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. at City Hall.