Equity Builders & Construction Services, Inc. submitted the low bid to replace the roof on the historic courthouse. The bid of $174,630.00 was unanimously approved at the March 14 Houston County Commission meeting.
“We received two bids,” explained Tess Kruger, facilities manager. “We recommend Equity Builders at $174,630. Their references have been checked. Their previous projects have a good reputation of coming in at budget. The other bid was considerably higher. It included items that were not necessarily on the original request.”
Craig Milkert, Collaborative Design Group, overseeing the county project, confirmed that the contractor plans to start work on the courthouse roof in April.
Commissioner Severson called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. and led his fellow commissioners and the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting agenda and the minutes from the March 7 regularly scheduled commission meeting were approved.
Commissioners in attendance include Chairman Dewey Severson; Eric Johnson; Robert (Bob) Burns; Bob Schuldt; and Greg Myhre.
Commissioners approved Sheriff Brian Swedberg’s request to upgrade the sheriff’s office recorder system. The county is being forced to upgrade because there will not be any support after October for the existing system. The new system is expected to last seven years. The total cost is $28,670.00, including the equipment and software plus project management, professional services, delivery, installation, and training.
The county received two bids, one from Dunn Blacktop and the other from Zenke Inc., for the courthouse parking lot upgrade. Zenke Inc. was awarded the $296,165.05 contract with one lone no vote from Commissioner Johnson.
Johnson shared, “When we first looked at this project, it was a couple hundred thousand. Now, it is up to $300,000. I am starting to question if this is a wise investment to do for the cost. You can buy a lot of gravel. You can buy a lot of seal coat for our regular county roads.”
Chairman Severson added that the commission had planned to pay for the project with ARPA funds. However, the increase in cost could come from the county’s reserves or ARPA funds. Commissioners will be discussing the ARPA funds at next week’s workgroup meeting.
It was noted that Zenke was recently awarded the Grove Marshall Street project. Commissioner Burns reviewed the benefits of doing this project, mentioning that the parking lot is not ADA-compliant.
The company will be in town for five or six months this summer. Commissioner Burns noted that the city and county staff would need to coordinate the parking lot and street project.
Stonebrooke Engineering, Burnsville, MN, was hired to create a preliminary design of the TH 26 and Houston County CSAH 3 intersection in Brownsville.
The county renewed the airport fuel contract with Avfuel. County engineer Brian Pogodzinski explained on the agenda request form, “Houston County has been with Avfuel since 2015 when we switched to become a branded dealer. Avfuel works well with our Fuelmaster fuel system and has provided great service not only in fuel education and supply but also with credit card support. They are very responsive and easy to work with. There were concerns regarding insurance and the venue of jurisdiction and governing law. The highway department has checked with other branded dealers in Minnesota, and none have successfully altered this contract to change the insurance or venue requirements.”
In other business, the board:
• Accepted the bids for stockpile aggregate maintenance rock for various highways in Houston County.
• Accepted quotes for aggregate stockpiles at various quarries around the county for regular maintenance in the case of a disaster or other event that would require additional rock.
• Accepted quotes for equipment rental.
• Accepted the low quote for crack filling and seal coat.
After the committee reports, the meeting was adjourned at 10:34 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, March 28, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222, located on the second floor in the historic county courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 enter ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422. Public attendees are requested to mute their line until addressed.