The bids are in for Phase II of the Corn Palace Plaza, helping advance the city project.

Local construction company Puetz Corporation came in with the low bid of $515,829, while Dakotaland Sod Farm, Inc. of Sioux Falls submitted the remaining bid of $572,000. Tuesday's bid opening at City Hall welcomed just two bidders, with a drastic price difference between the bids.

According to City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein, the city has $530,000 budgeted for the project, which is slated to wrap up May 29, 2020, weather permitting.

Ellwein is the project leader for the city, and she said the City Council will review the bids and look to select one of the two bidders at the Oct. 21 council meeting.

With peak tourism season beginning in May and running through August, Ellwein said meeting the anticipated completion date is crucial. Construction of the project is intended to begin in the fall of this year. With the first snowfall looming at the end of the week, Ellwein said she hopes the chosen construction company can make progress before the thick of winter hits Mitchell.

The plan features the addition of a shade structure, a brand new east entryway, and state-of-the-art stage. Initially, the estimated cost was $500,000, Ellwein said.

The shade structure will include a misting system to help cool off plaza-goers during the hot summer months, and its width will stretch across the entire grassy area between the sidewalks surrounding the central section of the plaza.

The stage will be located on the east side of the plaza abutting the new east entryway along Lawler Street, which Ellwein said is also intended to help control foot traffic for events and performances.