Commissioners talk building finance, change orders

BUILDING SITE — A tractor/trailer and other equipment on the building site of the new Boone County Agriculture and Education Center at the fairgrounds.

Financial information for the new $3.3 million Boone County Agriculture and Education Center at the fairgrounds was a primary topic for the Boone County Commissioners at their meeting Monday, Dec. 10.
A summary provided by County Clerk Kathy Thorberg shows bonds totaling $2 million were issued in late September, less the bond counsel fees of $38,500, for a total bond deposit of $1,961,500.
The building contractor, Rathman Construction, was paid $111,304 on Oct. 9, and a second payment of $41,892 was authorized on Dec. 10, leaving a balance of $1,808,304 in those deposited funds.
In addition, the commissioners committed a total of $1.3 million from the county’s inheritance tax fund. From this allocation, the county has paid $168,000 to the architect, Joseph R. Hewgley & Associates, last May, and $4,284 to the Ag Society attorney, Jarecki Yosten Maul, in August. This leaves a balance of $1,127,716 in that fund.
These two funds together have a balance of $2,936,020 left for construction costs.
Balance remaining for change orders, after fees already paid and an additional $42,000 potentially due for architect’s fees, is listed at $81,181.
Two change orders were considered by the commissioners Monday with explanations by Leo Dwyer, president of Rathman Manning Construction. Because the original building site was too close to the new county radio tower, the building was located further to the east from its original planned location to avoid the new tower and recreational trail.
Commissioners approved one change order totaling $38,680 in additional cost. This order dealt with dirt work and excavation for the building. During excavation, a buried dump site was found under the site containing mainly metal and wood debris, requiring additional loads to be hauled away. The total cost came to $46,680. However, the contractor donated $8,000 in labor cost, bringing the total down to $38,680.
A second change order was more detailed and dealt with various changes in the building plan, as well as building location. Underground power, for example, will need to be extended about 150 feet more. It included potential added charges of $75,579, with deductions of $36,563 due to plan changes, for a potential additional cost totaling $55,893.
On the second change order, commissioners decided to table the change order costs for additional electrical work and underground conduit in Divisions 26, 27 and 28, totaling $50,209, as well as concrete work in Division 3 totaling $3,868. This removed $54,077 from the change order cost.
Commissioners approved the rest of the changes in this order, and will consider the tabled changes at a later date. Contractor Dwyer will return for the Dec. 27 meeting at 11 a.m. with a revised change order for the board.
During the discussion, Chuck Rolf noted that the buried trash could be hauled away or buried at a later date. Also, there was discussion of removing the big hill to the south of the building site at a later date.
Pat Neidhardt was present for the meeting and questioned why some of the plan changes were necessary. “You knew from the beginning this was going to be a livestock building,” she said. “Why are all these changes necessary?” Rolf replied that the planning committee felt the changes would make the building more useable.
Alan Rasmussen, board chairman, also expressed some concerns. “We only have so much money to work with and you already have all these change orders,” he said. “How many more will there be?”

Read the complete story in the Dec. 12 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.