LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Carpenters, masons and other skilled laborers from Lac du Flambeau will soon restore a government owned, Great Depression era lodge in Taylor Co.
That's after LDF Construction was awarded a contract just over $1 million from the USDA Forest Service. The Vilas Co. business submit the winning bid to renovate the Mondeaux Dam Lodge in Westboro, a federal recreation site in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
LDF Construction president Randy Soulier says securing the USDA contract comes 18 months after becoming 8(a) certified by the Small Business Administration. The 8(a) Business Development program awards federal contracts to businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged entities.
"There's an element of patience, investment and y'know, ups and downs … not winning bids, that you have put in," said Soulier. "So [now] it's off to the races, I guess you could say and we're looking forward to many more coming. That allows us to grow here in Lac du Flambeau, provides jobs."
Soulier said the project will be largely staffed by his team from Vilas County, about half of whom are Lac du Flambeau tribal members.
"While it's lucractive, it's more important winning a bid like this because it reinforces the fact that we have the talent to see something through of this magnitude," said Soulier.
While the Mondeuax Dam Lodge is not the first federal project LDF Construction has executed, it is the largest. Soulier counts construction at the Riley Lake Campground Price Co. and Boulder Lake Campground in Langelade Co. among other government builds.
Renovations on the Mondeuax Dam Lodge are expected to finished by next summer.
LDF Construction is set to re-roof the lodge, the lodge's quarters building and on-site garage. Improvements will also be made to the glacial springs artesian well site. Mechanical, plumbing and electrical upgrades are included in the project. Additionally, LDF Construction will restore the lodges doors, windows, chimneys, siding and other historic features. Site work includes new concrete sidewalks, exterior lighting and a new septic system.