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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Costs increase for planned law enforcement center

  • Since the last time the project was looked at, estimated costs have increased another $220,000.
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  • The Redwood County Board of Commissioners saw the results of the most recent work by Wold Architects in its continued effort to improve and expends the law enforcement center facility in Redwood Falls.
    John MacNamara of Wold Architects was on hand to present the design development submittal, which is a more detailed rendering of the project compared to the schematic design proposal it approved a few weeks ago.
    In addition to some tweaks to the drawings, the county board also saw an increase in the cost estimated for the project.
    At the schematic design stage, MacNamara presented numbers in the $3,625,000 range, and when the more detailed budget with clearer numbers was presented the cost was increased by $220,000.
    The board talked at length about the project, including the potential to make some reductions to get the costs down, but it also discussed some other additions to the project that could increase the project by $120,000 more than the estimated $3,845,000 estimate.
    Rather than approve the design development submittal at its meeting Tuesday, the board opted to wait one week before making its final decision, and in the meantime it directed MacNamara to come up with some more concrete budget numbers.
    In addition, Commissioner Al Kokesch stressed the importance of getting a deal done with the City of Red-wood Falls for its portion of the project.
    After all, said Kokesch, if the city would pull out of the project and decide to build on its own the need for some of the proposed expansion would not exist.
    “We need to have a done deal with the city in place,” Kokesch said. “If they would say ‘no’ the whole project would change.”
    The City of Redwood Falls is currently leasing space in the law enforcement center at a cost of $50,000 per year.
    Under a potential agreement the county would assume the bond but the city would pay toward that funding based on a portion of the total project for the life of the bond on top of the lease it had with the county.
    Those numbers have not yet been reached, though, and Kokesch said before he was willing to move forward with the project that agreement really needs to be in place.
    Some reduction ideas were presented by MacNamara to the board that could help reduce some of the costs, but he said the current budget only includes a contingency of $7,000.
    In a project of this nature, it is likely that number is going to have to be increased.
    With the added costs and more money placed in contingency, the project is very quickly nearing the $4 million mark.
    Approval of the design development submittal would least into the construction documents phase, and if that phase would be approved the project would then go out for bids.
    Page 2 of 2 - The current timeline includes having the bid process in March, with an estimated start date of April of this year.
    MacNamara said the project would be done in phases, with the expansion areas, including a new booking area, and the new sheriff’s department addition being done during the first and second phases. The reason the project would be broken into phases, said MacNamara, is to allow for the facility to continue to be used during construction and to eliminate the increased costs of boarding prisoners for a long period of time.
    There are still plenty of places along the way where the project can be stopped.
    Commissioner John Schuell-er said the project has been going on since 2004, and he believes the best option is to create a facility that can best meet the needs of the law enforcement both for the immediate and long-term future.
    In other action during its meeting, the county board:
    • Elected Commissioner Priscilla Klabunde to serve as chair for 2013 and Commis-sioner Sharon Hollatz to serve as vice-chair.
    • Accepted a donation of $100 from First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls for the county’s circle sentencing program. Mark Triplett, restorative justice program coordinator, said this was the second year the local church has donated to the program. There are currently five circles going on as part of the local program.

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