“The time is right. Something needs to be done.”
Those words shared by Jim Salfer, Redwood County commissioner, reflected the view of all five of the Redwood County board members Oct. 6 when they officially voted to move forward with a project that has been debated, discussed, delayed, designed and redesigned for years.
The commissioners unanimously approved the awarding of bids for a new courthouse building at a total cost of $10,260,488.
That number is actually a little lower than the initial number presented to the board Sept. 24 by Larry Filippi of Contegrity Group, Inc. and John McNamara of Wold Architects.
Some value engineering efforts were made that would reduce the cost of the project by more than $200,000.
As part of the approval, the county board removed one bid for what is known as specialties in the amount of $36,000, and it also approved the rebidding of the elevator portion of the project. No bids for that work were submitted.
With the approval, work will continue with the issuance of letters of intent and the signing of contracts.
The bids were approved with the plan to begin the work next spring.
Work to secure the necessary permits will also now proceed as the building project has been given the green light by the board.
Salfer admitted he was hoping that the bids would have come in a little lower, but he said the overall project looks pretty good.
He added there is no sense kicking this project down the road any longer, as the costs for construction are only going to increase.
“I believe we have prepared well to fund this,” said Salfer, adding current low interest rates are also very good.
The overall cost could ultimately be less, as it includes a $400,000 contingency fund and $250,000 for furniture fixtures and equipment.
The current cost of the demolition of the existing courthouse is an unknown, but the budget does include $215,000 for that work.