BENTON - The installation of an elevator in the Scott County courthouse will cost more than anticipated.
Bids for the project were opened during Thursday's county commission meeting. In addition to representatives of the bidding general contracting companies, the project's architect, Ron Galemore, and Connie Busby from the Bootheel Regional Planning Commission were in attendance.
Penzel Construction of Jackson submitted the low bid of $205,900. Two other bids were received: an offer from Gregory Construction of Jackson for $223,821 and one from Bridger Construction of Sikeston for $428,771.
Commissioner Jamie Burger said the bids came in higher because of upgrades in the electrical system required for the elevator.
"Right now, it's looking like we have $200,000 to spend on this," said Martin Priggel, presiding commissioner - a $185,000 state Community Development Block Grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development plus the $15,000 local match from the county. The BRPC will serve as administrators for the elevator grant.
"We'll have to do a request for a grant increase," Busby said. She advised commissioners they can expect to get a decision back on the grant increase request within a couple of weeks.
After allowing time for Galemore to review the bids, commissioners hope to award the contract for the project Thursday with the provision that the grant increase is approved.
In addition to the installation of the elevator to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act, the project will bring the courthouse into full ADA compliance by making modifications to the restrooms and main courtroom and by installing barricade partitions at water fountains.
The plans will not switch the jury to the other side of the courtroom as recommended in the last ADA inspection because the budget was "getting tight" for the project, Galemore explained. He instead opted to install ramps for the witness and jury boxes in their present locations.
Galemore also discussed with commissioners the possibility of having contractors schedule the work to be done in the evenings so construction noise will not conflict with court sessions.
Burger said they need look at the prevailing wage rules first and make sure it will not incur extra costs, as he recalled electricians get a higher wage after 4 p.m. under prevailing wage rules.
Electricians working during the day should not be a problem, however, as "it is not noisy work for them," Galemore noted.
County officials hope to see the project start in mid-November. The contract calls for the project to be completed within 120 days, pending the availability of the elevator.
In related business, commissioners also opened proposals to prepare the application to place the courthouse on the list of historical places. The application is required by the elevator grant.
County officials will make their decision based on the qualifications listed in the proposals, "then you can get with whoever you select and negotiate price," Busby explained. "It has to be a qualified architectural historian."
Marshall Historical Consulting of Fulton and the Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society of Benton submitted the only two proposals.
Commissioners will review copies of the proposals in preparation for Thursday's county commission meeting.
* The county commission will not meet next Tuesday due to the election.