Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Approves Addition to Costs

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Approves Addition to Costs

Article excerpt

The Shawnee County Commission on Monday approved change orders totaling $254,556.63 in additional costs for the county's project to renovate the future site of its election office at 3420 S.W. Van Buren.

Commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler voted 3- 0 to approve an agenda item consisting of 16 change orders to the project budget.

The county paid $530,400 in 2012 to buy the 23,097-square-foot building. Commissioners last April approved a $1,686,291 budget to renovate it.

Topeka-based Shirley Construction Inc. is converting the building's upper level into the future site of the county election office. The lower level is to be split among three other county departments.

County counselor Rich Eckert told commissioners Monday he saved up all change orders for the project to present them at once. He said there would be no further change orders.

The two largest change orders approved Monday earmark $67,292.30 to finish out an information technology room and $45,000 to run fiber optic cable to the building.

Eckert told commissioners another change order involved $27,952.21 in generator repair costs caused by copper thieves. He said insurance will cover all of that but a $10,000 deductible.

Archer asked how the county could avoid similar costs of that nature in the future.

Eckert replied, "The best way to prevent that is to have an occupied building."

He said Shirley Construction expects to have the project completed by Christmas.

Eckert indicated that, aside from the nearly $18,000 covered by insurance, the county will pay the extra costs using money from its capital outlay fund and from remaining balances from certificates of participation the county issued to finance multiple projects in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Eckert told commissioners last year that while Kansas law prohibits counties from bonding projects, a certificate of participation is essentially a bond. …

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