EOC bids lower than expected

MARIETTA – The proposed Emergency Operations Center in Washington County could end up costing less than initially expected.

Washington County commissioners opened bids Thursday for the emergency center, which they hope to have operational by June. It will be in the Children Services building on Davis Avenue in Marietta.

“The total of the low bids came in under estimate. Now what will happen is the architect will review the bids and make a recommendation,” said Washington County Commissioner Tim Irvine.

The county received five bids for the general contractor, two bids for the heating and air conditioning work, and one bid each for plumbing, electrical and sprinkler installation.

The total of the low bids is $371,307, said Irvine.

“The architect’s estimate was $434,900,” he said.

The low bid for general contracting came from Parkersburg-based Phoenix Associates Construction at $120,071, said Irvine. The bid was 12 percent lower than the next lowest bid, which came in at $136,838 from 3D Construction.

Also submitting general contractor bids were Huck Contracting with a bid of $164,900, T & M Construction with a bid of $144,877.50, and Westfall Construction with a bid of $141,571, he said.

Both HVAC bids came from local companies, but Tropic Air’s $46,040 bid was slightly lower than the $47,762 bid from Morrison Inc., said Irvine.

The bid for electrical work came in at $181,528 from Axis Electrical. Sprinkler installers Brewer & Company estimated $8,200 for that job. Carvers Plumbing bid $15,468 for the plumbing job, he said.

The architect, David Haught of DHL Design LLC in Marietta, plans on making a recommendation during a special session Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The EOC will give the county a centralized headquarters for responding to emergencies, said Irvine.

“Here all the people involved in an emergency can meet at one place and have all the facilities and equipment necessary to respond appropriately to the emergency,” he said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Muskingum Township trustee Gary Doan expressed concern that the funding townships provide to the Washington County Health Department will likely increase by 10 percent this year.

“I know this is water under the bridge but I was wondering who approves the hike on the townships fee to the health department,” he said.

The decision was made by the Washington County Health Board, said Commissioner Ron Feathers.

“You guys appoint the health board and they are the ones who make that decision,” he said.

Washington County Health Board president Richard Daniell asked the trustees for the increase at the last Township Trustees Association meeting. However, the township does not get to vote in the matter.

The commissioners also do not have a say in the matter, said Feathers.

“I never remember having to approve that increase,” said Irvine.

The increased payout toward the county will cut into and possibly negate the increased funding townships are getting this year from the county’s sales tax revenue, said Doan.

Commissioners found out they will be getting a slight break on their property and casualty insurance for the next year. After the policies expire April 30, the premium will drop from approximately $307,000 to $301,000 annually, said Irvine. That insurance covers all of the county property, which was recently valued at nearly $107 million, he said.