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County awards bids for Government Center projects

WORTHINGTON — Several smaller projects noted within Nobles County’s capital improvement plan are now starting to move forward, with commissioners on Tuesday awarding bids for two different projects within the Government Center in downtown Worthington.

The first project is a remodel of the leased space occupied by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Private Industry Council on the second floor of the Ninth Street side of the building. The work includes creating three rooms within the space. Of the two bids received, Woodbury Construction of Worthington was awarded the contract with the lowest bid of $14,479.

The second project involves demolition of the former jail on the third floor, also on the Ninth Street side of the building. For the past couple of years, the county has talked about clearing the space to make room for the county’s Information Technology department as well as creating a Regional Government Data Center.

Beltline Concrete, working under the umbrella of Ideal Landscaping of Worthington, toured the site and presented a proposal to demolish all of the metal jail components and remove the block walls as previously identified in a conceptual design. It submitted a bid of $34,200 for the work, which was approved by commissioners.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved a second amendment to the county’s contract with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, the agency hired to oversee all construction projects undertaken with the Capital Improvement Plan bonds. SWMHP was initially hired at a contracted lump sum of $70,000. Commissioners agreed to amend that contract in April 2018, paying an additional $12,000 after more projects were added to the list.

Now, SWMHP has asked for a second amendment. Originally seeking an additional $49,000, Johnson said it was reduced to $44,000, but noted that both Nobles County and the SWMHP board needed to be agreeable to it.

Commissioner Gene Metz said that while he wouldn’t always recommend paying more, he favored paying the full $49,000 in this instance. “I feel that we beat them up a little bit,” Metz said.

However, with a motion on the floor approving the $44,000 payment, that was what was approved on a 4-1 vote with Metz casting the lone vote in opposition.

  • Recognized Jake Smith, Nobles County Parks Superintendent, as the December Excellence in Performance award recipient.
  • Approved a $4,200 retainer with Scott Anderson of Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger P.A. Anderson provides counsel to Nobles County Environmental Services on land-use issues.
  • Authorized a change in title of the county’s human resources director. The position no longer includes the title of deputy county administrator.
  • Appointed Kelli Van Grouw, Worthington, to the Emergency Management Planning Advisory Commission.
Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

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