Animal control mystery factor
Bid specifications for an animal control facility off Quarry Road in north Corydon were approved Monday night by the Harrison County Board of Commissioners, but site selection is apparently still in limbo.
The Harrison County Park Dept., through a person speaking without authority from the board, has offered a county-owned site for an animal control facility. That brings the possibilities to four, said Commissioner J.R. Eckart, including Quarry Road, the Justice Center, YMCA property and the unidentified park land.
Eckart wanted the building construction to be bid alone, so separate bids could be taken for site development. That way, the building could be switched to the most affordable site. Quarry Road would include a road and sewer lift station, but the other three sites would not.
That would leave the site selection up to the council, which has the ultimate power over the decision because it controls the funding.
‘If they say don’t put it there because it’s cheaper at the other site … ‘ Eckart mused.
Eckart declined to identify the park site Monday night and a site connected to the YMCA property has not been discussed seriously, said Catherine Turcotte, executive director of the Y.
‘I think J.R. likes the YMCA site because the kids who ride by it might take home a pet,’ Turcotte said. ‘Unfortunately, I’m not sure where the animal shelter would fit on the YMCA or Gov. Frank O’Bannon site, without giving up a soccer field or a place set aside for future expansion.’
Commissioner James Goldman’s motion at 10:29 p.m. to instruct Angie Kleer (the architect with Michell Timperman Ritz in New Albany who has worked for years on this project) to proceed with preparations to bid the project at the Quarry Road site was seconded by Commissioner Jim Heitkemper.
The plans have not been altered significantly, but to allay Heitkemper’s concern, Kleer agreed to lower the concrete slab floor a half inch below that of the rest of the building so there would be no problem with water drainage.
But unlike the original plan which called for a turn-key operation, the project to be bid this time will not include any equipment or furnishings. That is an attempt to bring the estimated pricetag of $513,000 closer to the $300,000 the council has appropriated for the project.
Bidding the project without the site preparation, Eckart said, would further decrease the project and leave it to the council to fund the balance or not.
As for the upcoming bid, Eckart said the building and site preparation costs will be separate line items.
In keeping with Kleer’s timetable, a common wage board was appointed by the commissioners to meet with the Indiana Dept. of Commerce yesterday. Both the common wage hearing and the first public notice advertising for bidders will be placed in The Corydon Democrat on March 3. Bids would be received and opened April 1 at a special commissioners’ meeting. A recommendation on awarding the bid would then be made at the regular meeting on April 5.
After some discussion, council chair Gary Davis, Commissioner Heitkemper and former councilman Peter J. Schickel of Lanesville agreed to serve on the wage board. Goldman’s motion to that effect took into account union advocate Warren Haun’s offer to serve.
Waving a finger in the air, Haun asked, ‘Are you looking for a volunteer? You don’t want me on there?’ he asked, incredulously but with a grin.
Goldman said Haun could serve as the ‘representative sitting in the audience. I know you will be there, Warren,’ Goldman said with a chuckle.
There was disagreement between Eckart and Goldman whether the facility and site preparation could be bid separately because the common wage must apply to any project costing more than $150,000. Separating the bids could be seen as a way around that requirement, Goldman said.
‘Are you bidding on site preparation?’ Goldman asked Eckart. ‘This is ridiculous; you can’t do that. You will never get this thing built. We will have to bid over again. It all has to be bid under one package.’
County attorney Christopher Byrd said while two parts of a project can’t be bid separately to get around the common wage, they can be bid separately if the same wage is used on both.
Councilman Carl Duley suggested that the commissioners should bid the project on the site off Quarry Road. ‘We own the ground. It’s almost a no-brainer.’
Eckart said, ‘The county owns ground all over the place. The park has offered a site.’
‘What’s wrong with what you have got?’ asked Duley.
Eckart said the site has the added expense of a road and lift station.
‘I want to know how much (it will cost) over and above the building price,’ Eckart said.
Goldman suggested: ‘If we can’t do it on that site (Quarry Road), then we can go look at a second site.’
The Quarry Road site, said Haun, is good. ‘People can get to it out there; it’s a good location.’
Eckart said yesterday he intends to identify the additional locations at Monday’s regular morning meeting so bids can be taken on developing those sites.
‘We should be able to get the bids back at the same time,’ he said, referring to the Kleer’s April 1 timetable.