The Clay County Board of Commissioners held a joint meeting with the Clay County Building Corporation Tuesday to resolve lingering concerns related to construction of the new county jail.
The commissioners had withheld approximately $240,000 of their $10.7 million contract with Hannig Construction after problems with the new facility -- an improperly functioning lock, paint chipping in a cell and a less-than-satisfactory asphalt job -- came to light.
"Overall, the non-functioning issues we had in the jail were very minor," said Commissioner Daryl An-drews. "The commissioners did not have any concerns about the quality (of the work) that Hannig did -- the only quality issue we had was on the asphalt."
"We want to put all this stuff to bed so everybody can leave here today with a good feeling," Commissioners President Charlie Brown said.
Both boards voted Thursday to release all but $10,140 of the remaining retainage to Hannig Construction, reserving the amount being withheld by Hannig from Wabash Valley Asphalt pending the resurfacing of the facility's parking lot.
Troy Biddle, Hannig's vice president of operations, upped his previously agreed-upon share of $16,000 in utility costs once charged to the county and pledged to work with his subcontractors to ensure miscellaneous issues are addressed.
Those in attendance inspected the parking lot during the meeting, commenting on uneven areas, unsightly patched sections and the early signs of deterioration.
"Look at the overlapped sections, look at it breaking off at the edges," Brown said. "This parking lot is not satisfactory."
County Auditor Joe Dierdorf offered a more pointed assessment.
"A $10 million building, and the lot looks like crap," he said.
Biddle said he had spoken with a representative of Wabash Valley Asphalt, the subcontractor responsible for the paving of the lot. The firm has agreed to resurface the lot at their own expense and extend their warranty to two years, Biddle said.
But county officials still opted to withhold $10,140 to ensure the job is done to their specifications.
Hannig and the board also reached a final agreement on the issue of utility costs accrued during construction. In earlier talks, Biddle had offered to foot $9,600 of the $16,000 incurred after the commissioners signed a certificate of substantial completion last October. He offered the board a check for $10,500 at Tuesday's meeting, and the commissioners accepted.
Biddle said problems stemming from the work of other subcontractors-- chipped paint in several jail cells, a faulty lock and other items-- could be remedied under the warranties agreed to by the individual companies responsible for the work.
"A warranty issue is not a valid reason to withhold retainage," he said.
Biddle also answered questions related to change orders issued during construction, specifically those concerning ceiling bulkheads.
He explained that such changes are commonplace in large-scale projects, adding that his decision to charge the county for labor and materials-- rather than a unit price specified in the contract-- saved several thousand dollars.
Robert Hostetler, secretary of the Clay County Building Corporation, said the project's expense to taxpayers demanded these concerns be addressed.
"It's just that pride you have as a citizen of the county," he said. "You want it to be just right."