The lowest bidder was awarded the Justice Building renovations project Monday by the Kosciusko County Commissioners, and the annual bids for materials were opened for the Highway Department.
At the Oct. 24 commissioner meeting, the bids for the renovation work were opened.
“We’re here today for a recommendation from our architect that we would award (the project) to Schenkel Construction,” said County Commissioner Cary Groninger.
Along with the base bid amount, he said there is also an alternative for window treatment allowance and an allowance for furniture moving. The total of those three items is $1,684,200.
“There would still be some contingencies there for construction and design that were not included in that base bid amount, just because we’re not sure we’re going to need those at this point,” Groninger said before making a motion to approve the contract with Schenkel Construction. “That was the low bid.”
Commissioner Bob Conley seconded the motion and it passed 3-0.
The renovations include wallpapering, carpeting and painting in the building. The county has obligated up to $2.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for the improvements to the building.
The other bid for the renovations was from R Yoder Construction at $1.83 million.
Kosciusko County attorney Ed Ormsby and Highway Department Superintendent Steve Moriarty opened all the annual bids for highway department materials for 2024. Ormsby opened the sealed bids, which were due by 9:15 a.m. Monday, and Moriarty read one item in each of the bid packets. The bids ranged from limestone to fuel and more.
Moriarty asked for permission to take the numerous bids under advisement and then accept the bids into the 2024 annual bids at the commissioners’ next meeting, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 21. The commissioners approved taking the bids under advisement.
Moriarty also requested permission to apply for a grant and for a signature on a financial commitment letter for the grant.
As part of Operation Green Light, the Kosciusko County Courthouse clock light was changed to green Monday and will remain green through Sunday. Operation Green Light is a way for counties, businesses and homeowners to honor veterans the week of Veterans Day, which is Saturday. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
“What this is for, this is HSIP (Highway Safety Improvement Program) money. It’s through the state of Indiana, it’s a federal grant. It’s regulated by the state. And this is asking for money for paint striping,” he explained.
The grant application will be asking for $560,000 for the actual product and $45,000 for construction inspection and installing for a grand total of $661,000. The highway department’s financial portion will be $66,100.
The commissioners unanimously approved the grant application and the financial commitment letter.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Heard from Veteran Service Officer Darryl McDowell about Saturday being Veterans Day and the history of the day recognized in the United States and in Europe.
On another note, he said Operation Green Light began Monday, Nov. 6.
“You may have heard me talk about this last year. It’s in honor of Veterans Day. The National and Indiana Association of Counties, along with the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers, invite communities to light up their businesses or their homes between the 6th and the 12th of this month in recognition to let veterans know that they are not forgotten and that we as a nation will ensure that they have access to the resources that they need.”
• Approved for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office to enter into an inter-agency agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation, as presented by KCSO Chief Deputy Chris McKeand. He said the agreement has to do with the KCSO using law enforcement equipment on rights-of-way. The county has previously entered into the agreement, but now INDOT wants the agreement to be directly with the sheriff’s department.
• Approved KCSO Lt. Mike Mulligan’s request to apply for an Indiana Department of Natural Resources 2024 grant for $15,000, of which $12,500 will go toward enforcement and $2,500 will go toward fuel and dock fees. The sheriff’s department has applied for the grant in years past.
• Approved Kosciusko County Probation Department Juvenile Probation Officer Dana Bailey’s request to apply for the 2024-25 Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) grant for the seventh year. It is a $70,000 advance state grant, with the funds to be used for supplies, services and equipment for the youth.
• Approved a request from Bob Momeyer, systems administration, to renew the county’s contract with Zayo, which is one of the county’s internet providers. He said the county’s previous provider, Indiana Fiber Network (IFN), was purchased by Zayo during this past renewal period.
“Consequently, our contract time expired and we didn’t know about it, but they never let us know, so we’re kind of reacting to that situation,” Momeyer said. “We’ve been able to negotiate a lower rate for the next three years and a higher bandwidth, so I believe that is a very acceptable situation.”
Ormsby said on the contract the legal terms are acceptable with the addition of the county’s standard terms of the add-to contract language. He suggested the commissioners approve the contract with the addition of the county’s standards, which the commissioners did.
• Approved a letter of support to the Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addictions in support of designating the Bowen Center as a certified community behavioral health clinic, as presented by County Administrator Marsha McSherry.
• Approved the commissioner meeting dates for 2024, as presented by County Auditor Rhonda Helser.
• Approved the 2024 interlocal agreement between the county and the Kosciusko County Convention and Recreation Visitors Commission for the county auditor to serve as the secretary and controller for the KCCRVC. The agreement is for $500 per year to cover the materials the county uses for their meetings.
• Approved the 2024 interlocal agreement between the county and the Kosciusko County Solid Waste Management District. The auditor has served the district since 2000 by processing the district’s payroll, claims and budget at a cost of $6,000 per year.
• Approved the 2024 nonprofit agreements that were approved during the budgeting process. Those agreements are with Beaman Home, Cardinal Services, Kosciusko County 4-H Council, Kosciusko County Historical Society and St. Joe River Basin.