Wadena County Board votes on updating HVAC system at courthouse
The Wadena County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday, Feb. 7 on a county project to update the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system at the county courthouse.
WADENA — Things are about to get a lot hotter — or cooler — at the Wadena County Courthouse.
The Wadena County Board of Commissioners took a vote at its Tuesday, Feb. 7, meeting that kept a county project to update the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system at the courthouse humming along.
“Not that we like to spend money, but I think we have an opportunity here that we should just need to bite the bullet and get it done,” Commissioner Murlyn Kreklau said before the vote.
The county has been exploring different options for updating the HVAC system at the courthouse on Jefferson Street. Representatives from Johnson Controls Inc., which has a Fargo, N.D., branch office, gave a presentation to the board at its Tuesday meeting.
“We've done several retrofits and have an extensive list of references if you guys are interested in that,” said Jon Paul, a mechanical service sales specialist with Johnson Controls Inc.
Johnson Controls Inc. completed a feasibility study and hoped to proceed with a project development agreement with the county using a Sourcewell contract; Sourcewell is a Staples-based service cooperative created by the Minnesota Legislature.
“What we did on this agreement is put together a list of facility improvement measures based on the conversations that we've had with your county during the initial walkthrough a few months back,” Paul told the board at the Tuesday meeting.
Johnson Controls Inc. holds the subcontracts and takes on all the performance risks, according to Paul’s proposal, and his argument was that having one company control the project eliminates the communication conflicts seen on “Design, Bid, Build” projects.
“We have your building blueprints, and we came up with a design option,” Paul told the board. “We priced it by parts and pieces, we know the duct sizes, we know the size of the boilers, we know the size of the area. And we got pricing back on all that so this is actual pricing.”
The County Board approved earlier on June 21 a professional services agreement with ICS Inc. for the development and adoption of an HVAC and energy savings plan. ICS Inc. performed the work and presented a proposal to the board to completely replace the HVAC system.
During the ICS process, however, it was asked what options were available through Sourcewell, with Johnson Controls being an approved Sourcewell vendor, according to county officials.
“I think if you can deal directly with a company that takes care of all of it, you're gonna run into less issues because they know their subs (subcontractors) already,” Commissioner Jon Kangas said.
Kangas made the motion to give a 30-day notice to end an agreement to continue working with ICS Inc., with the resulting cost to the county of $15,000 to be paid from a levied building fund, and to enter into a project development agreement with Johnson Controls Inc.
“Your costs are established underneath our pricing arrangement with — the cooperative purchase agreement from — Sourcewell,” Paul told the board of Johnson Controls Inc. “You only pay what we're gonna have to have to get it done. We make sure we stick to these numbers.”
Those numbers include a courthouse variable air volume (VAV) air handling unit (AHU) and hot water upgrades at $1.42 million; replacement and ventilation upgrades at $84,500; law enforcement center AHU and VAV upgrades at $367,000; and courthouse pneumatic controls upgrades at $173,500.
“It allows us to use local resources and pick the things that need to go into the building … so that allows us to make better decisions,” Paul explained to the board of Johnson Controls Inc.’s relationship with the cooperative Sourcewell.
Kreklau seconded Kangas’ motion. A roll call vote was taken with Commissioner Bill Stearns abstaining because of family ties to the construction industry. The motion passed unanimously.