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Washington County Jail Base Bids Total $9.2 Million
Updated May 5, 2013 1:12 AM
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(SALEM) - Dirt could be moving as early as late May as the expansion and renovation of Washington County Detention Center gets underway.

Marcia Walker, of the Leader Democrat reports, that's the word from Mark Shireman, with Shireman, the Corydon-based company that is serving as construction managers for the project. Mark Shireman met with the Washington County Commissioners during their meeting Tuesday.

He explained that representatives from his company and RQAW, architects for the project, reviewed the bids, which were received March 28.

"We did an extensive review then did an extensive interview of these four contractors," Shireman said.

According to their tabulation, the lowest and most responsive bids for various packages that make up the base bid were Weddle Brothers, Bloomington, $423,600, site package; GBMC Mechanical, Clarksville, $1,936,245, mechanical package; Arrow Electrical, Louisville, $1,583,990, electrical package and Kremp Lumber Company, Jasper, $5,352,000, multi-scope package; "Mutli-scope" essentially refers to the basic shell that includes new cells for inmates and covers such things as concrete, carpentry, ceiling and flooring. The base bids total $9,295,835.

Shireman suggested the commissioners move forward with the process of selling bonds and issue a conditional letter of intent to award contracts.

"You are not bound by that," he explained. "It lets them (bidders) know your intent to award contracts when the bonds are sold."

Shireman said there may be ways to expand the scope of the basic project to include a new lobby and shell for the court, which were initially bid as alternates. He noted $700,000 built in as contingency money and had identified "value engineering items," areas where there might be a way to reduce costs.

In addition to base bids, alternate bids for different phases of the project were accepted. Shireman said there may be ways to include some of the work with the basic project, which includes a new cell block, laundry area and kitchen.

"We will be back in two weeks with some more options for you, some new designs, new ideas," Shireman told the commissioners.

The project is to be paid for through bonds backed by property tax revenue. The maximum amount that can be raised with a referendum on the ballot is $12 million.

Tom Scifres, attorney for the county, said it has been quite some time since the county issued bonds and it will have to obtain a credit rating. He estimated closing on the bonds could come "two weeks into the next month."

Once bonds are sold, the project can proceed and Shireman said moving fill dirt could start by the end of May.

The commissioners agreed to proceed with bond sales and issue the conditional letter.

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