M.C. Green Construction Co. has been awarded a contract to begin renovation of Bountiful's Main Street between Fifth South and Fourth North, but the final amount of the contract is subject to negotiation.

Following a brief closed session, the City Council awarded the contract to Green even though a lower bid for the project had been received from Beck Street Construction Co. Green submitted a bid of $1.54 million, while Beck Street bid $1.36 million.City officials said Beck Street and one other company of the five submitting bids were disqualified because they failed to meet qualification specifications in the bid document. They said this failure made Green the lowest responsible bidder on the project.

The Green bid is about $152,000 more than the amount budgeted by the city, and officials want to meet with the contractor to determine if there are some modifications that can be made to bring the cost closer to the budgeted amount.

Mark Green said he believes this is very possible, and his firm is already prepared to make recommendations in the work program that he believes will be more cost effective. He said work will begin within the next five days.

Green expressed some concern about the tight construction timetable. He said the time frame, which calls for the section from Fifth South to First North to be completed by Aug. 1, is marginal at best. The last section, First North to Fourth North, has until Oct. 1 for completion. Green said the work outline in the bid document would make it impossible to meet the deadline, but he believes the company has a few options that could speed the work.

Council members said the tight construction schedule is inteded to get the downtown area back into shape before the annual sidewalk days sale in early August. This is one commitment officials made to downtown merchants during preparation of the renovation plan. The construction contract contains a number of financial incentives to spur speedy completion of the project.

Council member Robert Gramoll said the contract award was made because it would be impossible to rebid the contract and meet the desired timetable. He said it was felt that modifications could be made to bring the contract into line with the budget, and therefore the council was comfortable in making the award.

The plan calls for installation of a new concrete road, relocation of utility lines and installation of a new storm sewer system. Also, new curbs, gutters and sidewalks are included with city maintained planting strips between Fifth South and Second South and between First North and Fourth North. The central portion of the project will include a redesigned roadway, which will affect parking configurations and traffic flow.

The changes including a number of beautification measures, are intended to lure pedestrian shopping traffic into the heart of the downtown area, which the city hopes to revitalize and make the "heart" of city activities in the future.

The city is footing the entire cost of the street improvements. Officials hope this will encourage merchants and property owners to renovate store fronts and that the joint effort will lure new development and businesses to the downtown area.