Council wants progress on town building



A contract was awarded to a Seymour company in May to renovate a Brownstown building to house the town hall and police department.

At this point, though, Goecker Construction Inc. has not begun work.

The only work that has been done on the building at 116 E. Cross St. was by a company hired by the town to remove asbestos and by town employees taking down vines outside and repairing a roof awning. All of that work was separate from the construction contract.

During Monday night’s council meeting, the five members discussed options to get construction going.

Council President Sally Lawson said one option is to find out if the town would be penalized for switching to the second-lowest bidder to do the work.

Goecker Construction had the lowest bid at $381,256, while Tormoehlen Construction of Brownstown was next at $455,750 and Dunlap and Co. Inc. of Columbus came in at $538,000.

Councilwoman Sharon Koch said Mike Tormoehlen, who operates Tormoehlen Construction, has done work for the town before on a time and materials basis and may be able to start sooner than Goecker Construction. Goecker told the town that other projects have pushed the Brownstown building renovation back to a start date of Jan. 1.

“I would be more inclined to go that route than revisit the 120-day penalty because I agree with all of you, I think it has been far too long. It has been going on for a long time,” Lawson said.

She said Shannon McLeod, the town’s grant consultant, recently told her that instead of taking away a monetary punishment for not starting the work within 120 days, it could be compromised with Goecker Construction giving bimonthly updates on the project once it gets started.

“So basically every time we have a meeting, they would give us an update on where they are timeline-wise instead of a financial punishment,” Lawson said.

Koch said Goecker Construction was selected as the contractor during a council meeting May 20. The next day, Clerk-Treasurer David Willey contacted architect David Correll to share the news with Goecker Construction.

The company then had seven days to start the project, but Koch said the bid paperwork never specified how the contract fell in line with the timeframe.

Lawson said if the project would have stayed on target, it could have been completed by September. In the bid packets, one contractor said it could be done in 120 working days, while another one estimated 150 days.

Now, the council will work with town attorney Travis Thompson to see which option is best: Staying with Goecker Construction or going with another contractor.

Street department update

While talking to McLeod, Lawson said they also discussed the current town hall building, which also houses the police and street departments and has the Brownstown Volunteer Fire Department next door.

The town has discussed constructing a new street department building near the wastewater department on the far west side of town off of U.S. 50.

McLeod told Lawson about a $500,000 grant available that would allow for the town hall building to be remodeled for the street and fire departments to use and also have a community center. The fire department could purchase the building and remodel it, Lawson said.

“That would be nice if all three entities could be part of it,” Koch said.

Willey said the fire department needs more bays for its trucks and equipment.

“They are maxed out right now,” he said. “I think they don’t have anymore room for vehicles.”

He said the fire department plans to add concrete behind the station between the building and an alley so they can wash trucks after being at the Brownstown Speedway. That way, the dirt and sand don’t go onto Walnut Street.

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