Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Project manager to be hired for stalled courthouse renovations

Washington County Budget Committee members agreed to allocate funds for an on-site project supervisor to complete the renovations on the second floor of the downtown courthouse, but refused to hire a new contractor.
“I want to offer a little bit of clarification,” Mayor Dan Eldridge said during the Nov. 14 meeting. “Almost the entire budget has been committed, and the (purchased) materials are in storage waiting for the resumption of the project.”
County-Owned Property Committee members have kept the renovations on-hold since June while they study the plans, the process and the costs.
According to Eldridge, the only result from this months-long review is a clear desire to see an on-site supervisor. “I don’t see anything changed in the scope of the work,” he said.
Yet, County-Owned Property Committee members recommended approval of a $3,500 pre-construction management fee for Hiram Rash who recently completed a $6,000 assessment of the renovations at the committee’s request.
Rash is one of the owners of GoinsRashCain, Inc. Construction Services and its affiliate company, CainRashWest Architects.
In addition to the $3,500 pre-construction management fee, Rash’s proposal includes payment to supervise the completion of the work and 5 percent of the guaranteed maximum price.
“We are well into this project, and the $180,000 is committed,” Eldridge said. “We can’t hire GRC to be the supervisor without making them the contractor, and Washington County is the contractor.”
Eldridge said County-Owned Property Committee members are complicating what should be a simple process.
“The contracts (with the vendors) are already in place,” he said.
Purchasing Agent Willie Shrewsbury estimated $6,000 would be enough to bring in a project supervisor who would be paid an hourly rate to oversee the completion of the renovations.
Commission Chair Greg Matherly voiced his support of hiring a project supervisor. “We need somebody over there with some vision to get this thing done,” he said.
Commissioner Mitch Meredith asked why the county would hire a new contractor to come in and then pay him a 5 percent fee.
“(Because) at the end of the review, we would know where we are,” said Zoning Administrator Mike Rutherford who has been providing support to the County-Owned Property Committee.
“Here’s where we are,” Eldridge said. “(County-Owned Property) is an advisory committee that has spent months reviewing the project and the only change is an on-site supervisor.”
Commissioner Ethan Flynn made a motion to allocate $6,000 for a project supervisor, to be assigned by the purchasing agent.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Joe Grandy and passed unanimously.
While Rash could be considered as a candidate, he would serve as the project supervisor only, not a contractor.
Budget Committee members also agreed to move forward a second resolution from the committee appropriating $46,500 for courthouse roof cleanup, hazard abatement, clock tower lights, audio visual equipment, and inspection and permit fees.