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RQAW questioned about past performance

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday morning received an update on the Justice Center renovation project from Bret Dodd of engineering firm RQAW, but the focus quickly turned to the Government Center renovation project, specifically the Purdue Building and why certain tasks weren’t completed and who was responsible.
Dodd worked for Indianapolis-based RQAW on the old hospital/Government Center renovation project but left for a time last year before returning to the company.
The audio/video system in the Purdue Building has never properly worked, Annette Lawler, Extension educator, said.
Dodd said CyberTek, an IT company, was hired for the job by RQAW and must not have completed the job properly.
‘The system is not in line with the way they want to operate,’ Dodd said.
Dodd said fixing the audio system and adding other enhancements, such as a video system and rolling 60-inch flat screen TV for teaching lessons, will cost about $130,000.
Commissioner George Ethridge asked what changed between the beginning of the project and now, because the system should have been implemented to the correct standards.
Dodd again deferred to CyberTek and said RQAW did not have a contract to put the system in place.
‘Weren’t you in a place to make sure it got done?’ Ethridge asked.
CyberTek was in charge of the project, Dodd said, and he didn’t know why it wasn’t completed properly.
‘I don’t know where the gap was,’ Dodd said.
Dodd agreed to meet with Ethridge today (Wednesday) to discuss the matter and try to get everyone on the same page.
‘Before we pay another nickel, we need to find out what was in RQAW’s contract and what was outside of it,’ Ethridge said.
The commissioners have three invoices totaling $95,000 from RQAW, dated October 2012, on hold. Dodd said that work did not include any construction management for the Justice Center renovation, only the design and bid process work.
Ethridge said that total, combined with upcoming expenses, will put RQAW over budget.
Dodd said the budget will also be discussed today.
Also, later in the meeting, Ethridge said there has to be a paper trail for everything.
‘If not with RQAW, then that’s a different discussion,’ Ethridge said.
In other business, the commissioners discussed placing an ATM in the Government Center for public use. J.P. Davis, who also offers credit/debit card machines, presented to the commissioners about the ATM, which would not cost the county any money.
The machine would have a $3 surcharge for users.
Davis said the use of the machine would be reviewed after three months and he informed the board that the money and machine would be insured through his company.
Also, Lawler introduced the new Purdue Building office manager, Aletha Goodman, who succeeds Loretta Byrne who retired at the end of last year.
Steve Gilliland, executive director of the Harrison County Community Foundation, updated the board about the upcoming year and said the Foundation will provide four $20,000 scholarships to Indiana University Southeast, up from two last year. One scholarship will be provided to each county high school.
Gilliland also spoke about increasing the scope of the dual-credit program in the county, giving high school students a head start on college education.
A new program the Foundation will put into action this year is an Adult Scholarship Program. (For more information about this program, call the HCCF at 738-6668.)
The board also approved an overtime request for Danny Spencer, who is filling in as head of maintenance for the county.
The commissioners next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center (moved from Monday, Feb. 18, because of Presidents Day).