Shawnee County facilities management director Bill Kroll voiced dismay Monday that Topeka-based CD Electric asked the county to pay an additional $4,500 in materials costs after commissioners voted Oct. 23 to award it a project contract.
Kroll asked Commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler to award the project instead to Topeka-based Torgesen Electric, which put forth a bid that was initially $299 higher than CD Electric’s.
Torgesen’s bid, while not as inclusive, would nevertheless meet the county’s needs, he said.
Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve Cook’s motion to defer action on the matter until they meet Nov. 13 while asking Kroll to contact CD Electric to see if the situation can be remedied before they move forward with awarding the bid to Torgesen.
The county initially received three bids varying somewhat in strategy and scope for the project to provide electrical service upgrades to facilitate the installation of new vehicle lifts purchased by the sheriff’s office in the garage area at the county’s North Annex, 1500 N.W. Saline.
In a memo on page 201 of the agenda packet for the commission’s Oct. 23 meeting, Kroll wrote that circuit panels in the garage area were already beyond their maximum allowable capacity, making it necessary to add power into that area.
Meanwhile, he wrote, a county staff member had identified “unused 200 amp service in the current office area that we propose moving to the garage.”
Kroll’s memo outlined the bids the county received, saying:
— CD Electric proposed completely relocating the existing 200 amp panel and installing a new 100 amp, 12 circuit panel to handle future service needs in the office area at a cost to the county of $6,175.
— Torgeson Electric proposed installing a 125 amp sub-panel from the existing 200 amp service for $6,474.
— Topeka-based Current Electric proposed installing an additional 175 amp service using power from the existing 200 amp service at a cost of $9,871.
After commissioners voted 3-0 on Oct. 23 to award the bid to CD Electric, Kroll said the company told him it had forgotten while submitting its bid to include $4,500 in materials costs it was asking the county to pay.
“I have a problem with somebody forgetting that much of a bid,” Kroll said Monday.
Cook suggested more discussion was needed regarding CD Electric’s plan, considering it had already been identified as the county’s best option.
In other business, commissioners on Monday:
— Recognized Terry Bertels, retiring deputy director of Shawnee County Parks and Recreation. A reception for Bertels will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Reynolds Lodge at Lake Shawnee, said parks and recreation director John Knight.
— Voted 3-0 to authorize Kroll to solicit proposals from anyone interested in contracting with the county — at an estimated cost not to exceed $40,000 — to construct an ADA-compliant restroom in Suite 410 at the county courthouse, 200 S.E. 7th.
— Voted 3-0 to pay an initial past service cost balance of $379,954 to the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System using $150,000 from the sheriff’s office budget and up to $240,000 from the 2017 general expenses contingency budget. Shawnee County would realize significant savings by exercising the payoff option, said administrative services director Betty Greiner.
— Encouraged residents to vote in Tuesday’s municipal general election. In apparently voicing support for mayoral candidate Spencer Duncan, Archer praised outgoing Mayor Larry Wolgast and said he thinks Topeka needs and deserves another full-time mayor. Duncan has said he intends, if elected, to work full-time as mayor while his opponent, Councilwoman Michelle De La Isla, intends to keep her full-time position as diversity and inclusion representative for Westar Energy.
Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.