Bids submitted for courthouse renovations, exterior a priority

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton

Significant exterior renovations in the works for the Warren County Courthouse could come together pretty quickly.

Two companies submitted bids for the county’s guaranteed energy savings project.

Here’s what that would look like: A company would come in and complete infrastructure repairs, specifically items such as lighting, HVAC and infrastructure repair projects at the courthouse. Those improvements are then guaranteed by the company to result in a certain level of savings. In lieu of conventional debt mechanisms, the commissioners would agree to “pay back” the company solely through the savings realized from the repairs. The end result is financed infrastructure repairs that don’t result in an additional burden to the taxpayer.

ABM Industries has spoke about the project at several meetings and submitted a bid.

A second bid came form McClure Company, Chief Clark Pam Matve said, but was delivered 10 minutes after the 11:30 a.m. deadline.

Commissioner Cindy Morrison asked that the bid still be considered and Eggleston said he “had no problem opening it.”

“It’s really a qualifications, more than it is a bid,” Tyler Nichols, account executive with ABM said. ”

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin asked Nichols how quickly some of the projects cold come to fruition.

“(We) do have the bicentennial coming up next year,” Kafferlin said, noting he’d like to see the courthouse facade painted and bricks repointed in time for that celebration.

“That was one of the things we understood to be a major priority,” Nichols said.

He explained that engineering and final design typically takes about 90 days which would mean the county could award the project to a contractor in November or December which would “give you four to five months to get a lot of that work done prior to the bicentennial celebration.”

On the second bid, Kafferlin said that the other firm “had a month to come schedule a meeting with us” and that he was “unenthusiastic about postponing the vote on Wednesday.”

He said, however, that if arrangements could be made to at least teleconference with the other bidder that he would be “all for it.”

He said he was surprised they received just two bids.

“I’d like to compare the two,” Morrison said.

Eggleston said that he doesn’t think a Wednesday vote is too soon to allow time to review both.