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County leaves salt on the table

Board asks for breakdown of bids for salt storage shed and foundation

HENNEPIN — The construction of the new Putnam County (PC) salt storage shed has been tabled by the county board until the itemized bids for its planned concrete work are reviewed.

PC highway engineer Pat Sloan said the old shed in Hennepin, which he estimated was in excess of 50 years old, suffered severe storm damage earlier in the year, and its demolition was recently completed.

The county only received two bids for the concrete foundation work, the lowest at approximately $54,000. Board member Luke Holly questioned why there were only two bids and suggested the county find a way to increase the amount of bidders for future projects. He said only receiving two to three bids per project has become typical.

“I think for this amount we should re-bid,” Holly said.

After the board failed to make a motion to approve the existing bid, discussion began about the possibility of re-bidding the work. Sloan said it was getting late in the year; that re-bidding wouldn’t likely result in a lower bid; and added for the work required, which includes a reinforced, 8-foot thick floor and 1-foot thick walls capable of withstanding 100 mph winds, the bid seemed reasonable.

Rather than delaying the job with the proper, yet lengthy re-bidding procedures, PC Board Chairman Steve Malavolti suggested the board review the bids in an itemized format, so they could see the line by line costs involved. The board then approved the tabling of the discussion until its next meeting.

Sloan said the low responsible bid for the building portion of the project was approximately $30,000, and the costs were reduced by the design work being completed in-house by structural engineers.

Two remaining road projects which are scheduled for completion soon are repairs to the McNabb blacktop and work to correct the areas of Bottom Road which get washed over during heavy rains.

In other board news:

• The board approved moving $3,000 from the county’s Contingency Fund to the Automation Fund in order to help the circuit clerk’s office meet the costs of the state mandated e-filing requirements.

• PC EMA coordinator Bob Cofoid reported their tent and cooling area at the recent Marshall-Putnam Fair received a good response, and improvements were going to be made which would provide an even better experience for future fair-goers.

• Cofoid congratulated PC EMA assistant coordinator Chauntelle Biagi-Bruer for completing the Professional Development Series course work and receiving certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

• Biagi-Bruer and Tiffany Moodie, from the Marshall-Putnam Farm Bureau, presented a review of a new portal website which has been launched through a $5,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The website is part of the Strengthening Economies Together program and functions as a way to provide regional information and promote the assets of Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties. Through the website at www.mpsplan.com, detailed information can be found on various demographics; investment incentives; communities; available sites and resources; and tourism.

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