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Council hears update on justice building

Proposals were due by 2 p.m. on November 13 from the three firms that were named to the short list of contractors by the LaGrange County Technical Review Committee. The firms of Hagerman Construction, Michael Kinder and Son, and Performance Services have been selected for the short list. Five firms initially filed requests for proposals on the project.

TRC Chairman Sarah Farlow said that the committee will be meeting Friday, Nov. 17, to meet some of the legal requirements for the design/build process to move forward and to assign a written composite score to each qualitative proposal.

Farrow presented a detailed analysis of expenditures on the project to date. Of the $3.8 million appropriated, less than $100,000 has been spent. She projected that additional costs could be such that the final contract price needs to be under $3.65 million.

These findings will be forwarded to county commissioners at their November 20 meeting. Commissioners will publically open price proposals and read them aloud. Commissioners will make a best value calculation and award a progressive design/build contract, subject to final negotiation of terms and conditions of the contract. Following negotiations, commissioners will authorize Phase I progressive design/build services.

Commissioners could decide to take the best value information under advisement and wait until a future meeting to take action on the awarding of a contract.

In the event that negotiations for a contract break down, the second highest scoring contractor could be asked to negotiate a contract.

Councilmen also accepted a report from Ryne Krock, county economic development president, on tax abatements for several county firms. These firms are located in rural areas and do not include firms that are located within the boundaries of the towns of Wolcottville, Topeka, Shipshewana or LaGrange. Towns control tax abatements within their boundaries.

All were declared compliant: LaGwana, Cruiser RV, Exo-s, Gro-Alliance, K-Z RV, Lennard Ag, Westpoint Woodworking, and River Woodworking.

Councilman Harold Gingerich expounded on the need to continue to work with the State of Indiana on traffic issues relating to industrial and tourism growth in the county. He pointed to a number of personal injury and fatal injuries that have occurred in the last two weeks in the area.

Council members passed a number of resolutions, transfers of funds requests, and additional appropriations.