Commissioners receive bids on plaza improvements

By Sam Wildow - Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — The Board of Miami County Commissioners opened bids for the next phase of construction for the ongoing improvements at the courthouse plaza during its meeting on Thursday afternoon.

E. Lee Construction Inc. of Delphos provided the lowest bid for the construction of the improvements to the site with a base bid of approximately $2,809,960 and bids of $66,900 and $79,990 for alternates 1 and 2, respectively. The alternates on the project include more waterproofing and then use of brick pavers.

The other bidders for this next phase of construction also included Outdoor Enterprises of Casstown with a base bid of $2,948,000 and total bid of approximately $3,119,000, including the alternates; Double Jay Construction of Englewood with a base bid of $2,984,000 and total bid of approximately $3,188,000; and Westerheide Construction Company of Sidney with a base bid of $3,654,000 and a total bid of approximately $3,809,800.

This phase of the project has not yet been awarded as the county will research which bid represents the best and lowest bid.

Prior to the opening of the bids, Commissioner Jack Evans thanked the representatives of the construction companies who in attendance at the meeting, saying, ”We’d certainly like to thank all of you for bidding this project. I think it’s one that you’ll be proud of if you get the award and complete the project. It’ll be there a long time, and you can show your kids and grand-kids, ‘This is what I did.’”

The overall design for the new proposed courthouse plaza, created by Garmann Miller Architects, includes one fountain, which would be located at the front of the courthouse, walkways with pavers that mimic the floors inside the courthouse, and more green space. The design also relocates the county law enforcement memorial to be closer to the Sheriff’s Office entrance.

In May, the demolition of the courthouse plaza and waterproofing of the site was awarded to E. Lee Construction at a cost not to exceed $689,990 as part of the renovation project for the site. That phase of the renovation project included the tunnel demolition; the site work demolition such as paving, landscape, site lighting, and irrigation; and new sanitary and storm lines; along with waterproofing and storm drainage at the courthouse.

Also during their meeting, the board received a visit from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose following the mock election that was held at the Miami County Board of Election’s office to demonstrate the new voting machines.

LaRose expressed confidence in the Board of Elections, but he noted that the Board of Elections will remain under his office’s oversight for the foreseeable future.

“The team did an excellent job,” LaRose said. “The board has been under administrative oversight from my office now for the last half a year or so as a result of some very serious mistakes that were made last year. The good news is that the board and the staff there have been very serious about rebuilding the trust of the voters of this county, and that’s what they’re doing. The new equipment and the work that they’re doing to really lead the way on the security directive that our office has issued should give the voters of Miami County confidence that when they cast their ballot this November, next year, any election in the future that it’s going to be accurately counted.”

LaRose said he saw these past few months as a growth opportunity for the board to improve their equipment, training, and security, but he did not provide any end date as to when his office plans to complete their oversight of the board.

“Within a year or two from now, I think you’ll be able to say that Miami County has one of the best boards of the election in the state, and that’s their goal. That’s my goal for them, and I can tell you that for the foreseeable future, we’re going to keep them under that administrative oversight, but I think that it’s actually been a really productive relationship. I think that they would tell you that it’s not burdensome. What it actually is, is a real help,” LaRose said.

In other news:

The board authorized Crowe Shredding, LLC of Richmond, Ind. to provide paper shredding services for the Miami County Sanitary Engineering Department on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon. The cost is not to exceed $735. This service will be offered to Miami County residents free of charge. There will be a limit of four file boxes per individual.

The board then authorized a lease agreement with Pitney Bowes, Inc. of Shelton, Conn. for one new postage machine for the Sanitary Engineering Department. The cost is not to exceed $99.80 per month.

Commissioner Greg Simmons was absent.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at ©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach Sam Wildow at ©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.