EATON — On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Preble County Commissioners gave no official directions for Preble County Sanitary Engineer Randy Gilbert and landfill manager David Wilson to take with regard to the construction of a new building at the Preble County Landfill.
Gilbert informed commissioners only one option was left to do the project for the cost of under $928,000. This came after a group of bids were rejected when all the bids came in over the projected cost.
During the meeting, Gilbert said he believed the only option remaining was to remove office space from the building and use trailers or modules as the offices for the Preble County Landfill.
According to Gilbert, many of the contractors who placed bids stated the bid period was not long enough for them to explore all alternative bids and options for the project.
Wilson also expressed concerns on the shops size. “By no means do I think 3,000 is big enough for the shop, but I want to be responsible with dollars too — but to me it’s irresponsible to build something you know isn’t big enough.”
The proposed shop is to have 3,000 square feet of shop space with another 750 square feet being dedicated to locker rooms and restrooms.
One possible solution presented by Commissioner Rodney Creech was to construct a large pole barn with offices attached to the front, or in trailers.
Commissioners Chris Day expressed frustration with the length of time it has taken to start construction on the building, saying the rest of plans for expansion of business at the landfill are being placed on hold because of the process.
“I look at it as the long haul verses the short haul — our original discussions were getting everyone under one roof. It’s a lot easier to communicate and manage, it reduces a lot of problems,” Day said.
He continued, “The bottom line is we’re stumbling over $229,000 at this point — we’ve spent that much in three years going back and forth. That boils down to about $76,000 per year. I just know that having been involved in these projects, if you cut some things it gets down to a certain point when you start cutting enough you start paying for it in the long haul. I’m all for saving money, but it’s an investment.”
Commissioner Denise Robertson however expressed concerns the bid prices, which were around $1.1 million, were the bottom dollar and stated concerns the project would only increase in price as it went along.
Gilbert agreed with Robertson that most government projects do increase in price, but stated it was his job as project manager to make sure the drawing and specs left nothing out to ensure the price would not increase.
“Every job there adds and deducts,” Gilbert stated. “The key is to try to make sure those things balance out.”
“We’ll we’ve stacked some plans and ideas, and we need to come up with whatever we want and bid it out. This stuff of going back and forth is ridiculous, we got to come up with whatever it is. If you want to get a finished project it is going to cost us and you can’t control that.”
The Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday, at 9 a.m. at the Preble County Courthouse.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-684-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.