By Beth Bily
The Itasca County Dispatch Center remodel moved closer to reality last week, when the board of commissioners awarded several contracts necessary to begin construction.
Bids for the $457,725 construction portion of the remodel project were awarded as follows:
• General construction – Hawk Construction ($58,700)
• Glass and glazing – Anderson Glass ($13,400)
• Flooring – Dorholt Tile and Home Center ($8,790)
• Fire protection – Absolute Fire Protection ($11,800)
• Mechanical/Plumbing/HVAC – A & A Plumbing and Heating ($33,339)
• Electrical – Hopkins Electric LLC ($114,000)
• Temp Controls – Honeywell Building Solutions ($61,235)
• Architecture/Engineering – Klein McCarthy & Co. Ltd. ($51,461)
• Construction Management Fee – Contegrity Group Inc. ($30,000)
• Contingency and general conditions were budgeted for a total of $75,000.
The total cost of the remodel and move of the county dispatch center from its current location to the former Grand Rapids/Itasca County Airport Terminal carries an estimated cost of $1.5 million.
In a telephone interview, Itasca County Sheriff Vic Williams said the bulk of the cost is due to mandatory equipment upgrades including moving to Next Gen 911 and upgrades to the department’s systems, software and servers. The upgrades will allow the dispatch center to better utilize technology – for example by taking in information via live video feeds.
Williams said while there weren’t any advantages to relocating to the airport, the sheriff’s department is running out of room at its current location. “The physical footprint here doesn’t fit anymore,” he said.
The relocation costs have been kept down due to the availability of an existing, vacant commercial structure. When compared to remodeling current facilities or constructing new, the Airport Terminal offered the best bang for the buck.
While the move will put vacant space to use, Williams added that the dispatch center would be located in the commercial end of the building only. If an airline decided it made sense to move back into the Grand Rapids market, that option would still be available, he said.
The remodel will take place over the course of the summer. Williams expects they will move into the new dispatch center sometime in the fall.
In other business, the board:
• Listened to a legislative update from Rep. John Persell, DFL – Bemidji and Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL – Balsam.
• Listened to the annual update from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission.
• Recognized county employee hires, resignations and promotions.
• Approved commissioner warrants in the amount of $979,557.09.
• Approved Health and Human Services warrants in the amount of $1,045,171.22.
• Determined that a project labor agreement is not necessary for a $300,000 HVAC upgrade to the Itasca Resource Center.
• Approved the minutes of the ICHHS Advisory Committee meeting.
• Listened to an IMCare quality upgrade report. IMCare, which acts as an administrator for a number of public assistance programs, is working with the Love and Logic program, Baby Steps for parent education classes, one-on-one breast feeding support instruction and support programs for those living with chronic disease.
• Determined that project labor agreements were not needed for 2014 Itasca County Highway Construction projects.
• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the county, Itasca Greenhouse and International Bridge to accept a $14,923.44 grant for tree seedlings.