BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MONTROSE – The Lee County Board of Supervisors entered into an agreement with Midwest Construction Consultants to start the process of getting county buildings up to snuff.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the board voted 5-0 to approve a resolution authorizing the agreement between MCC and the county for renovations on the county buildings, which have been part of a three-year county maintenance plan.
Supervisor Gary Folluo said the idea of renovating the buildings has been “kicked around” for the past five years and now that voters have indicated they didn’t want a new central building, it’s time to move on getting the projects started.
“Let’s do it for a year and see how it goes and in that time we can see what our cost is. If it’s cost effective to put an employee on or keep doing this,” Folluo said in reference to possibly hiring a maintenance director to do the work MCC is offering to do.
Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise said she would recommend the board hire Hansen to do the work because she didn’t have the expertise needed to administrate that work.
Board Chair Ron Fedler said the county needed to get moving on the project so they could be part of competitive bidding that’s going on during this time of year.
“This is the time of the year contractors start signing contracts for work for next year,” Fedler said. “The longer you wait, and all of sudden they get booked full, they will still bid them but the price goes up. So you’re almost better off to try and get in there, because we’re gonna do some of this anyway, and if we get bid earlier rather than waiting til later, we can get a better bid.”
The agreement would empower MCC, at the continuous direction of the Board of Supervisors, to provide construction management services for long-term renovations of the South Lee County Courthouse, North Lee County Courthouse, Attorney’s office, North Lee County office building and other facilities as directed.
The firm would also assist in the development of public bids and provide construction administrative services including contractor coordination and quality inspections as a representative of the Lee County board.
The agreement can be stopped or postponed at anytime without additional costs to the county. MCC would charge $75 per hour for services, .59 per mile for mileage and any printing and postage costs would be at actual cost.
“Our proposal was based on the three-year Lee County maintenance plan and also on the studies that were developed by Design Partnership. So basically what I’ve tried to do is go over some of the services that we’d be willing to provide,” said John Hansen owner of MCC.
“We’ve worked with several public entities on long-term projects and one we worked with for about four years. Since there is not a definitive scope of work, basically we are recommending the board would determine the scope of services to be provided at this point.”
Supervisor Matt Pflug asked what a maintenance director would cost the city and Fraise indicated a good director would cost the county $70,000 to $75,000 with benefits and suggested that Hansen could do the work at quite a bit less than hiring a full-time person to administrate the maintenance projects.