Purchase photos

Construction bids below budget





This time, the low bid came in under budget -- barely.

Bids for the construction project for the new EMS/rural fire building were opened Wednesday afternoon at the Ellis County Courthouse.

There were five bids, with the lowest at $3,488,200 by Commercial Builders, Hays. The next bid was $3.5 million by QMC Inc., Quinter, which matched the construction budget for the project.

"Lowest one came in slightly under what we would consider the maximum," Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said. "We're higher than we'd hoped, but we're within budget."

By switching to an all-metal building, Sund hoped the bids would come in at approximately $3.1 million. Then, the two alternates possibly could have been added.

"Clearly, something didn't affect it that much," Sund said.

Sund said one positive with the bid is an emergency generator is included, a savings of approximately $75,000 to $100,000.

Commissioners could make a decision on awarding the bid at their next regular meeting, July 7. If Commercial Builders wanted to start before then, commissioners could consider the bid at a special meeting. The project is expected to be completed in 360 days.

The other bidders on the project were: Harbin Construction, $3,689,000; Paul-Wertenberger Construction, $3,725,000; and Law Co., $3,786,000.

Bids were opened for the project for the first time in December, but all bids were rejected after they came in above budget. The low bid then was $3.9 million.

"We're substantially lower than the first time," Sund said. "We're within the range we originally budgeted for this project."

Bids for the renovation of the courthouse, jail and Law Enforcement Center are expected to be opened in August.