Wednesday, July 27, 2016
CONTENTIOUS COUNCIL MEETING ON ANNEX ALREADY GOING OVER BUDGET
CONTENTIOUS COUNCIL MEETING ON ANNEX ALREADY GOING OVER BUDGET
see noted comments throughout this meeting.
26 July 2016 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes
Present: Liz Morris, President, Dennis Kraus. Sr., Dan Lansing, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, Alan Goodman, and Bill Ullrich.
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Teresa Randall, County Administrator
All three commissioners were present. WAS THEIR PRESENCE ADVERTISED?
Judge Sally McLaughlin and Judge Cleary were present
Morris read the Title VI non-discrimination statement as required by law.
COMMISSIONERS- Terri Randall- Increase in Annex project budget discussion- much of the info has already been emailed on the budget and status of the project via updates. Apologized because she was hoarse tonight. Hoped that others would talk on this. Maxwell and his staff are present (Brian Statman and Chris Gubowski.) as are all three commissioners. There is a request for $576,000 as an additional. Budget needs to change to 11,760,000 now.
Maxwell said the increase is mostly a matter of time. Hoped to bid in the 4th quarter 2015. [NOTE: That's when steel prices had dipped to a deep low. see website referenced later in this meeting for that chart at DJIA.] DNR historical people required an archeological dig. This put us into steel increases that were substantial. We have a 2% ( $200,000) contingency. We can’t negotiate prices until we get a go-ahead. ( why not?) I would prefer not to be here, but here I am. We think we can pull it off. There was a 3% design contingency when we were still at the design stage. The drawings weren’t finalized. We used some to solve problems that they saw coming. Example of another ADA ramp needed etc. That was not in the budget. Entering the courthouse will require additional expense for a bearing wall that has to be removed. The noisy A/C will not be moved- but actually will be replaced with a bigger unit that will work both buildings. He said they challenged the architect on these decisions. Steel increases that are substantial and increased activity in the marketplace.
Kraus said that the $576,000 was not advertised. Apparently they have to advertise each draw that is asked for now.
Maxwell also said that they will be able to have about $200,000 in the individual bid contracts in leeway too.
Lansing asked how he got the budget figure. Maxwell said that they used a lot of people to get these numbers. Bruns Gutzwiller and another big contractor in Batesville helped with the numbers. There were no binding numbers though. Our projections were out 9 months- but it turned out to be a year from now. Banta Electric were able to project their costs for the jail well. I know how frustrated you are- and I am too and I live here. We ran the numbers again 15 months again when this went out to get the numbers. Time is the biggest enemy he said several times throughout this discussion. We are happy with every single contractor we have- and a couple we weren't sure of we had the attorney review and also sat down and went thru their numbers. Several are willing to negotiate on some costs. One is the back stairway- we don’t like the design and a few electrical ideas that we want to change. Within that discussion with contractors we get cost savings- but not the quality or the value of it.
Everyone has 90 days on the contract to get their materials- price protection. Even the price of concrete is locked in for this project.
Kraus asked for the amount for each individual contractor. Maxwell said he can give that to them. [NOTE: I’d like the PUBLIC to see those numbers too.]
Randall - still hoarse- said that McHenry went out to see what else they can cut and that hours and hours were spent to see what they could do without coming to ask for this. If they cut something out they would have to redraw it and that would cost and then they’d have to rebid etc. [NOTE: This is a weak argument- and the steel prices were the cause for commissioners and now they are saying more vague things are in the increases. DIdn’t anyone look at annual steel prices and do an average out to get a realistic picture? If you go to
you will see the low dip early in 2016 and the spike to correct for it recently. You can also see the 1 year ups and downs and the 5 and 10 year ones. putting a clause in the bid to allow for a recollection to the norm might have been smarter for us and fairer to the bidder.]
McHenry said that the judges and the prosecutor were great to work with. There is nothing lavish in the judge’s rooms. They did not ask for anything that was inappropriate. I questioned some of these things. He thinks he can say with confidence and anything we cut will damage the project. [NOTE: How about the basement? or the curving facade? They did have alternates of that.]
Morris said that in a project like this you don’t want to damage the integrity of it.
Kraus asked what would be the cost for new furniture etc for the annex.The dept heads and judges courts are fully furnished- but the offices have to come out of their own budgets. How about employees? asked Lansing. Maintenance? McHenry thought they can use road crew and jailed offenders can do some grass cutting etc. Lansing doesn’t want to see what happened to the jail and extra employees that got hired… Ullrich said that was a whole different thing. [NOTE: Not really- its all the same matter of trusting what you are hearing from your elected officials. who now want to sweep that little fake out under the rug.}He went on to talk about this being a last hurrah getting the annex done and Judge McLaughlin has been waiting a long time for this. [NOTE: Last hurrah for whom? Politicians? Certainly not the taxpayers who are going to be paying for it’s maintenance and the increasing taxes to cover all the Riverboat Revenue that was used up on this.]
McHenry said he’s glad to have Maxwell on our side and he’ll hold them accountable. Ullrich said John is here and he’s right on top of it. Morris said that the safety issues are there too and we need to do this. So we need to decide if we are going to continue with this.
Kraus asked about the steel prices if they go up. Maxwell said they are locked in. [NOTE: Locked in to what? the spiked price?]
Keyes said what if this goes over $12 million. Morris said if we use Riverboat Revenue then the referendum doesn’t apply. Keyes said since he’s been on Council nearly $40 million has been spent of Riverboat money!!! And now we will have to raise taxes to meet expenses. It’s election year but I am worried about the county. It looks like $600,000 isn’t so much. Lansing agreed with Keyes.
Randall wanted them to look at the spreadsheet and see that $800,000 has already been spent on the project. She pressured them on that and received some push back from council. Maxwell said it wasn’t all steel - it was time that was the enemy. Voting no to the $576,000 would stop the project. SILENCE as that sunk in.
Aaron Negangard- replaying for the 3rd or 4th time his same arguments on why we need the annex- said he had come to Council a long time ago and said that a new jail or courthouse was in our future. That was before the 3rd court was even added. For years we have been operating needing this. Everyone always came up with a reason to do it later. It would have been cheaper back then due to the recession. [NOTE: Remember the Vieste debacle and their price for a campus wide almost $40 million plan on the backs of the NW Quadrant?] He trusts Shane and John Maxwell to try to get it down to the bare minimum. Time is our enemy. [NOTE: Is he parroting Maxwell or did these guys all meet to prepare for this meeting?] The archeological study delayed it. It’s pennywise and pound-foolish. Right after the jail was finished we got several lawsuits on the jail conditions. He slides right past this like it proves him right. Joe Johns could sue for ADA. To vote no is fiscally irresponsible. We talked about all different sites etc. Negangard went on with his usual fear mongering about lawsuits if we don’t do this. [NOTE: Perhaps the prosecutor can put his use his seized funds account money where his mouth is and help defray some of this $576,000.]
MOTION: Ulrich said with all that said if no judges wanted to speak he wanted to motion to move the $576,000 to pay for this. Brandt seconded. Three nays. Kraus, Keyes and Lansing. Morris voted aye with the other three to get this to pass.
Request for $2.7 million Annex project draw would almost take us thru the end of the year or at least thru November. Goodman motioned and Ullrich 2nd. Two nays Lansing and Kraus. Rest are ayes. Passed. (Keyes voted Aye as this was not including the $576,000 increase and was just part of the original approved $11.2 million)
Pennington said again every single drawdown will have to be advertised on the annex project.
AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- Minutes were approved.
Lawrenceburg Library Board of Directors Appointment- Pat Ritzmann is willing to serve another term- Approved.
Health Grant Signature- biggest grant they do includes tobacco, shot clinics, etc. Goodman abstained as he sits on health board. Approved for $75,000.
A second grant that they have done for many years was approved.
State bought a lot of Narcan and will give to the county for free. You have to sit with a Counselor for it. This is for the general public. Approved. No cost to the county. I asked about distributing Narcan to untrained people as there are safety issues with precipitating acute withdrawal depending on the opioid dose being treated. Brandt said the police couldn't overdose the Narcan. And then answered my question by stating it comes in a prepackaged doses for them and they get it free also.
Phil Darling- York Township- voiced his opinion on the costs of the annex and the issues agreeing with the nay voters on the increase and also questioning again why this wasn’t part of a referendum as it clearly will hit the $12million mark. Ullrich says that by not using property tax money it doesn’t count and Darling says that Riverboat money is still OUR tax money.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller