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Commissioners discuss central dispatch construction bids

by Grace Hooley - ghooley@chronicle-tribune.com

Grant County Commissioners received five open bids for the ongoing construction and renovations of the central dispatch building on Monday.

The old Salin Bank building at 302 S. Washington St. in Marion, which is owned by the commissioners, is currently being renovated to hold the new central dispatch for the county, Gas City, Marion and Jonesboro.

There was only one roofing bid from CE Reeve Roofing for a new roof membrane for $163,512. County Auditor Jim McWhirt recommended the commissioners consider re-bidding for more roofing companies to be involved.

“Are we surprised we had no more bids than that?” McWhirt said. “It’s disappointing I would think.”

Concrete packages were sent from Hamilton Hunter Builders and NPX Solutions. NPX bid $300,000 for the concrete and side work, $38,000 for the labor and $46,000 for the tower, making a total of $384,000 for the entire package.

Hamilton Hunter Builders offered multiple packages and a discount if all packages are chosen. They bid $62,149 for access flooring, $17,658 for painting, $135,900 for concrete and $7,440 for fencing. This makes a total of $223,147, but if all of the packages are chosen, Hamilton Hunter Builders will offer a discounted bid of $215,147.

Sabre Industries offered a bid for both the tower and the tower labor of $94,229. The materials would cost $51,198, and the labor would cost $43,031. Fuller Engineering gave a bid for an access flooring package of $47,950.

“We had a lot of different quotes on different items. They could bid separately on those,” Commissioner Mark Bardsley said.

Rather than waiting to take action at the Nov. 18 meeting, the board authorized President Mike Burton to make the decision of approval on phase one bids following a review of the bids. The tower bids will not be considered until an approved tower site is found. Then, it will then have to be rebid based on location.

Construction crews recently learned the planned site for an antenna tower in the parking lot to the west of the building is unusable for construction. Rather than building an antenna tower, dispatchers will instead send information through microwave to a different location via an up-link tower on the roof of the building, according to Bardsley. 

“Each contractor can bid on all or any portion of the construction package,” Bardsley said. “The bidding notice went out on all portions of the work before our discovery of the stability of the parking lot area. Those bids had to be acknowledged but no action will be taking place on that item. We will be rebidding tower specifications once we determine its new location.”

In other news, the board approved retaining Anthem health insurance for 2020, but this will also include a 3 percent increase in employee contributions. 

Commissioners also held the bidding of 71 acres of farmland around the Grant County Highway Department for a three-year lease. Nick Manwell bid $190 per acre, Michael Devore bid $200 per acre and Nolan Halloway bid $250 per acre in the first round of bidding.

In the second round of bidding, Devore bid $255 per acre and was awarded the lease. Halloway was not present for the second round of bidding at the meeting.