GONZALES — The Gonzales City Council has awarded the work of restoring the flood-closed civic center to Deumite Construction of Baton Rouge, the apparent low bidder.

The company, one of four bidders for the project, put in a bid of $932,000 to repair the building on Irma Boulevard and also put in flood-prevention measures that include a low brick wall around the facility, as well as sliding panels to seal entrances against floodwater.

The City Council on Monday also approved an amendment to the city budget to pay for the project, which is expected to be fully reimbursed by federal agencies, said City Engineer Jackie Baumann.

Earlier this month, the budget amendment was introduced to increase capital outlay expenses for the civic center by $1.4 million, upping that figure from its original $150,000, funds that were dedicated to the design of the restoration project, to a total of $1.55 million.

The timeline of introducing the ordinance this month required Baumann to estimate a "worst-case" scenario of the cost of the project at $1.4 million, to cover all contingencies, Baumann said at Monday's meeting. 

After the meeting, Baumann said now that the bids have come in and the winning bid is under $1 million, the city should be able to see some savings in its capital outlay funds at the end of the year.  

Also at Monday's meeting, Mayor Barney Arceneaux said the city is looking to give employees a 2 percent cost-of-living raise. The City Council will be voting on the raise at its next meeting.

The across-the-board raise would increase the city's annual expense for salaries from $11.48 million to $11.62 million.

When the City Council approved the 2017-18 budget in May, it took a conservative approach with a $15.5 million budget up 1.4 percent from the previous fiscal year. 

Arceneaux said after Monday's meeting the council had hoped to provide the cost-of-living raise this budget year "but wanted to be absolutely sure" that sales tax revenues looked good.

The mayor said retail sales in recent months have been healthy. 

And, he added, "we expect good retail spending" to continue through the holiday season. 

Follow Ellyn Couvillion on Twitter, @EllynCouvillion.