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Courthouse construction on schedule


Fri, Jul 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

“The project is holding to schedule,” Dave Johnson, the courthouse construction supervisor, told the County Board at Tuesday’s meeting. Johnson said steel work would start within the next week. Johnson said he was pleased with the progress to date. He said that there haven’t been any more surprises since two cisterns and the old court’s steps were uncovered during excavation.

Dean Sand, Construction Analysis & Management, Inc. presented bids for asbestos abatement and industrial hygiene air monitoring. Enviro Tech Remediation Services, Inc. came in with the low bid of $172,800. The engineer’s estimate ran $188,768. Angstrom Analytical’s bid for air monitoring came in at $20,250. That’s $9,500 lower than the engineer’s estimate. The abatement will start August 5. Both bids were approved.

Sand requested the board’s decision on ballistic glazing windows. The original estimate was $10,000 for four windows. The actual cost has been determined to be $11,175 for three windows. Sand explained that the driving force behind the costs was the set up charge. Commissioner Duane Bakke found it difficult to believe the company was setting up their equipment for just three windows.

It was noted that glazed windows are dangerous at night as one can see into the office. Assistant County Attorney Matt Opat also shared his view on only having one of four windows bullet-proof in the County Attorney’s office.

“You might as well put up a sign on that window, ‘shoot here’,” said Opat.

Commissioners Helen Bicknese and Chuck Amunrud felt the special windows were cost prohibitive. The board will seek out more feedback from Judge Robert Benson before making a final decision.

Sand passed out copies of the current budget update including the change order log. The update showed what has been paid out in each category of work and what remains to be paid. The overall math shows the project to be staying on task.

Jason Woodhouse, Kane & Johnson Architects, discussed tile, carpet and paint colors. Decisions will be required shortly. Recommendations will come from the courthouse sub-committee with the final approval given by the board.

Other Business

•The board approved an agreement between the Recorder’s Office and the state allowing Fillmore County to remain a satellite office for Commercial Code (UCC). This allows the county to track liens against property being sold. The rates charged for this service has also been increased from $15 to $40.

• County Assessor Robert Picket requested the board purchase the Minnesota Tax Property Tax System. The system allows for the calculating of property owners’ taxes. The board was comfortable with the proposed plan.

•Board chairman, Marc Prestby asked that a memo be sent to the Sheriff Department and Highway department outlining the county’s purchasing policy after a mower was purchased. The amount of the item was over the maximum limit and the board had no input into the purchase.

County Coordinator Karen Brown confirmed that quotes had been received, but the board hadn’t been party to the transaction.

•Commissioner Amunrud reported the last D-F-O meeting showed a $420,000 cut in 2004. The caseload of criminals is growing while budget cuts are forcing staff cuts.

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