County examines bids for jail work

ESCANABA — The Delta County Board of Commissioners heard an update on bids for work on the new Delta County Correctional Facility from Delta County Administrator Ryan Bergman Tuesday. The bids are for contracts included in “Bid Package No. 2,” which contains about $7 million worth ofwork on the facility.

Bergman said few of the contracts in the package have been officially awarded yet, but the low bidders on most of them are known.

“In almost all of these cases, it’s going to end up with that low bidder,” he said. However, some changes may be made before the contracts are awarded.

Bergman began his presentation with a review of Bid Package No. 1, which contained 10 contracts awarded in August 2017. He noted half of the contracts in the package went to companies located in the Upper Peninsula.

Based on the low bidders for each of its contracts, Bergman said, Bid Package No. 2 will apparently follow suit. One contract in the package that has already been awarded to a company in the area is a contract for roofing, which went to low bidder Lake State Roofing of Iron Mountain.

“This one is finalized,” Bergman said. Lake State Roofing bid $430,880 for this work.

Local companies will presumably be awarded some of the largest contracts in Bid Package No. 2, including a contract for electrical work. The low bidder for this contract was Master Electric, which has a corporate office in Gladwin, Mich., and a local office in Escanaba.

“This one we were very pleased with, because we were concerned that we might not get a U.P. electrical company to bid on the project … It was a very large project, and they’re also incredibly busy right now,” Bergman said. Master Electric’s bid for the work was $1,442,907.

The low bidder on contracts for plumbing and HVAC/mechanical work was Berger and King of Escanaba. Berger and King bid $981,487 for the plumbing contract and $2,023,513 for the HVAC/mechanical contract.

Carpet and Drapery Shoppe in Escanaba was the low bidder on contracts for tile and resilient flooring, with bids of $34,017 and $85,908, respectively. Murray Painting Company, which has a corporate office in Freeland, Mich., and a local office in Gwinn, was the low bidder on contracts for resinous flooring and painting — bidding $25,745 for the project’s resinous flooring contract and $197,168 for the painting contract. Hiawatha Chef, Bar, and Janitorial Supply of Escanaba was the low bidder on a contract for food service equipment with its bid of $159,042.

Some of the non-local low bidders on contracts in Bid Package No. 2 have agreed to use local labor on the project. These include Miron Construction of Neenah, Wis., which bid $866,419 on a contract for general trades work, and Edgar Boettcher Masonry of Bay City, Mich., which bid $894,300 on a contract for masonry work. (Miron Construction also serves as the project’s construction manager.)

Bergman said the contracts in this package — which did not have either a low bidder from the area or a low bidder who plans to use local labor — were not bid on by companies in the U.P.

“It’s more specialized things that we just don’t do around here,” he said.

Great Lakes Caulking of Kingsley, Mich., was the sole bidder on a contract for caulking, with a bid of $42,000. The low bidder on a contract for gypsum board systems was H.J. Martin and Son of Green Bay, Wis., with a bid of $332,800. With a bid of $89,423, IM Acoustic of Goodman, Wis., was the low bidder on a contract for suspended acoustical ceiling panels. Belson Company of Green Bay was the low bidder on a contract for laundry equipment, with a bid of $43,976.

Currently, the bids for contracts for glass and aluminum windows and rolling doors and shutters are still being evaluated.

“These ones are still up in the air,” Bergman said. Additionally, a bid amount from Fireline Sprinkler Corp. of Appleton, Wis., for a contract for work on fire protection systems is pending.

Out of the 23 non jail-specialized contracts in Bid Package No. 2 which have a final or pending low bidder, 11 (or 48 percent) were tentatively awarded to Delta County companies, 14 (or 61 percent) were tentatively awarded to companies in the U.P., 19 (or 83 percent) were tentatively awarded to companies that will use local labor on the project, and 16 (or 70 percent) were tentatively awarded to union companies.

Bergman also spoke about the overall status of the Delta County Correctional Facility project. He said that, based on the low bids submitted for contracts in Bid Package No. 2, the project’s specifications are about 4 percent above the county’s financial target. However, this can still be dealt with by making adjustments to these specifications, and low bidders on contracts included in both bid packages have been working on value engineering proposals. These proposals will be analyzed by the project’s architect and engineers later this month.

Construction on the correctional facility has been going smoothly so far, with site work near completion and steel wall panels having been placed. Bergman said the next step in this process will be the installation of the facility’s roof, which will allow construction and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work to continue over the coming months.

“The winter shouldn’t cause any problems,” he said.

In other business, the board:

– addressed the upcoming retirement of Delta County Airport Manager Kelly Smith. Smith, who has worked at the airport in a management role for over 14 years, will be retiring as of May 11, 2018.

The board agreed that Smith’s successor should be hired before she leaves. Though no formal actions on this matter were taken, the possibility of forming a committee to hire a replacement for Smith was discussed.

This committee would likely consist of both members of the Airport Advisory Board and community members. With the exception of Commissioner Patrick Johnson, who is married to Assistant Airport Manager Suani Nieto, each of the board’s members will suggest community members who could be asked to serve on this committee.

– voted to submit a plan to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission showing how the county will comply with the State of Michigan’s new indigent defense standards.

– approved a resolution encouraging the state to avoid the privatization of mental health services.

– hired an attorney firm on retainer in order to join a multi-jurisdictional lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies. This lawsuit concerns costs incurred by the justice system due to the opioid epidemic.

– thanked retiring Assistant Building and Zoning Administrator Patricia Besson for her service, authorized the lump sum payout of her annual leave time, and authorized the refilling of her position.