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Multi-Use Facility unhappy with construction bids received
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DARLINGTON – The Multi-Use Facility Committee met on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.  The bids by the general contractors did not meet the expectations of the committee. Jack Sauer, chair of the County Board was expecting the numbers to be in the $500,00’s; Tom Jean, Lafayette County Highway Commissioner, thought they would be in the $600,000’s and Keith Dalsing, from KD Engineering, was projecting numbers in the $700,000’s.
    The low bid for the project was $848,970, which was submitted by Midwest Roofing and Construction, LLC of Dodgeville. The rough square foot price ranged from $42.44 to $53.25.
    Several anecdotes of personal experience were told regarding personal buildings that were built for $6 and $8 a square foot. Dalsing said, “What you find in the commercial pricing - houses start at $120 per square foot, school district projects will be in at the $120 to $150 per square foot; an example was retold of a township building was in the $50 per square foot range. So the $42 per square foot on this project is really reasonable, when you start comparing this to other projects. The large cold storage portion of this building brought the price down. Cuba City is putting up a new building for their city public works and that came in above $60 per square foot.
    Sauer said, “That sounds ridiculous to me. The bulk of this building is cold storage. I can’t see why we can’t bid this without a bond. The bonding adds to the cost. If you get a reputable contractor, you could pay them 25% down, 50% when it’s half done and the other 25% when they meet our expectations.” Dalsing pointed out that state statutes dictate that there must be a bond for municipal projects over the $150,000 level.
    Sauer and Gerald Hiemann both commented that the committee would have been smarter to have purchased the Wiegel building on County Shop Road, which was purchased by Lamers Bus Lines. Sauer said at the time the county was looking at the building it was priced at $650,000. “I realize that’s hindsight,” said Sauer, “The next thing is we’ll be cutting the size of the building down, sometimes you have to live within your means.”
    Sauer continued, “I think we should rebid the project, without a bond and just bid a shell building and bid the electrical, HVAC and plumbing separately.” Jean agreed and stated the he could act as the general contractor on the project.
    The Nodolf Lumber bid, at $389,000, was just for a shell building, but it was revealed that Nodolf left several items that were in the spec’s, off their bid, including: masonry fire wall and foundation to the fire wall; utility areas; exterior slabs and stoops; all concrete; frost wall in the footing; excavation work and back filling; suspended ceiling in the meeting room area; condensation barrier under the roof; painting; floor finishes (carpet, tile); foundation insulation; foundation ground break; foundation vapor barrier and other items.
    Discussion about how to get this building built cheaper ensued. Several ideas were discussed, including: outline of how to manipulate the bidding process, what can be cut, buying materials and hiring the labor, etc.
    A motion was made by David Hammer and seconded by Steve Spensley to reject all bids. Motion carried.
    The committee discussed how to rebid the project. Consensus was to bid the building, HVAC, electrical and plumbing. A motion was approved to rebid the project with the following five contracts: Contract 1 - for building materials only; Contract 2 - Building construction, supply labor and equipment for construction of the structure; Contract 3 – electric; Contract 4 – HVAC; Contract 5 – Plumbing. The concrete, foundation and site preparation will be done by Lafayette County Highway Dept. Jean will act as the general contractor.