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Yellow Medicine Co., Minn., calls for bids on remodeling project for goverment center

The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to move forward with drafting specifications to call for bids to remodel the former Yellow Medicine County Bank building. The construction is estimated to cost $570,302, but the overall project including a contingency fund and architectural and construction management fees is estimated at $717,568. Tribune file photo

GRANITE FALLS — The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to draft bid specifications to remodel a former bank building to house county offices.

The vote came after the commissioners learned the remodeling project will cost an estimated $717,568.12 including construction, and architectural and construction management fees. The construction share of the total estimate is $570,302.

The county purchased the former Yellow Medicine County Bank building in Granite Falls for $450,000 last autumn from Fagen Engineering.

Board chairman Ron Antony passed the gavel in order to make the motion to move the project forward. It was seconded by John Berends. Greg Renneke joined in voting for the project. Commissioners Gary Johnson and Louis Sherlin voted no,

Johnson said he only received the estimate the evening before the meeting, and would prefer to wait until the next meeting to act due to the amount of money involved. “I want to digest this for a bit, think about it for a bit,’’ he said, urging a vote at the March 26 meeting instead. “What’s another two weeks?’’

Antony said the architects had done a diligent job of drafting plans that met the county’s goal. “Unless we have some major concerns that we’re not doing this project, I don’t see why we should slow down or stop,’’ he said.

Johnson noted that the county was expecting a $250,000 to $500,000 project when it acquired the property. He also voiced concerns that the county may have acted with too much haste when it acquired it.

Wold Architects of St. Paul will begin working with the construction manager for the project, Contegrity Group Inc., of Little Falls, to draft bid specifications. John McNamara, partner with Wold Architects, said the project could be awarded in May and ready for occupancy in September.

The building will house the county’s administration, property, records, assessor, information technology, and finance offices that are now located on the first floor of the courthouse. The remodeled building will also hold the county commissioners’ meeting room.

The project will require installing an elevator at an estimated cost of $100,000 to allow for staffing the upper floor. The need to replace the roof at an estimated cost of $48,500 was among the costs that had not been expected during earlier discussions.

The commissioners also authorized that the building be inspected for asbestos, unless it has been previously certified as free of friable asbestos. They learned on Tuesday that a law requires that any commercial building acquired by a governmental unit be inspected for asbestos.  

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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