A $597,000 bid to replace a heating and cooling unit in the Law Enforcement Center was approved by the Webster County Board of Supervisors during its Tuesday meeting.
The bid was submitted by Jensen Builders, of Fort Dodge. It was unanimously approved.
Larry Osterhout, of Fort Dodge, asked the supervisors how much money the LEC renovation will end up costing the county.
"How many change orders will be approved?" Osterhout asked.
Supervisor Clark Fletcher said change orders are to be expected with renovations "because that's the nature of the remodel."
"We will probably always be dealing with change orders," Fletcher said.
However, the bid for the heating and cooling system was a planned project that was expected and will be paid for with the $7.5 million general obligation bond that was approved by the board in early December.
The first project bid was the renovation of the LEC's basement, first and second floors, as well as the exterior of the building. It was awarded to Jensen Builders for $2.7 million, of which $1.9 million is paid for by an I-JOBS grant awarded to the county by the state.
The heating and cooling system is a second project, and the third and final project to be bid will be the renovation of the third-floor jail.
"They are all totally different projects, but they are all budgeted for and in the finances," said Fletcher.
The most recent bid for the heating and cooling unit came in substantially under the $1.1 million estimate, said Supervisor Keith Dencklau.
Osterhout also voiced concern over raises that are frequently approved for county employees by the board. Most are step increases or contractual.
"A lot are step increases," said Dencklau.
"I understand that, but there needs to be a stopping place somewhere," Osterhout said referencing budget problems the board has had in the past. He suggested a cap should be in place.
The board will begin union negotiations in the coming year, Dencklau said.
In other business the board received and placed on file quarterly reports for the Veteran Affairs Commission and General Assistance. Neither report was discussed.
The board also took action to pay for the construction of a private driveway at 2233 Dawson Drive at a cost of either $1,248 or $1,305. The final cost depends on the size of a culvert that needs to be installed which is to be determined by the Webster County engineer.
"It's for the replacement of a driveway that was removed through a miscommunication with the county and property owner," said Fletcher.
The incident occurred a few years ago. According to Dencklau, a farm driveway existed at the time of purchase and the property owner believed the driveway would stay in place. Through a miscommunication the Webster County Secondary Roads Department removed the driveway, an action of which the property owner wasn't in favor.
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