Brownstown project won’t begin until Dec. 1

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BROWNSTOWN

Renovation work to the future Brownstown Town Hall and police station likely won’t get underway until Dec. 1.

Town council members recently agreed to let Goecker Construction of Seymour wait until then to get started on the project because of a commitment conflict with a subcontractor.

Chad Goecker attended the Sept. 3 council meeting to answer questions and discuss how to get the project back on track.

Last month, town officials voiced their concerns that no work had been done on the building at 116 E. Cross St. since the town awarded the project in May. They had hoped it would be wrapping up this month.

“At this point, I could not commit to anything before Dec. 1,” he said.

Goecker Construction had the lowest of three bids at $381,256.

Town attorney Travis Thompson said a final draft of the contract officially had not been signed to date.

Goecker said the sticking point was a penalty clause that was going to be added into the contract that would fine the company for not getting the work done in a timely manner.

Had the penalty clause been in the contract from the beginning, Goecker said they would have never put in a bid for the job.

“It’s an administrative nightmare when you have penalty clauses,” he said.

Goecker said a number of issues can hold up a project past the 120-day completion time frame, including weather and waiting on approval for change orders.

“If you’re there every day doing your job and you have good communication with the people you’re working with, we’ve not had issues,” he said. “I don’t really like starting and leaving because it’s not productive. It’s disruptive to everybody. It’s not an efficient way to do things.”

The board agreed not to add the penalty clause to the contract as long as Goecker Construction provides updates on the work bimonthly.

“We’ve waited this long,” Councilman Gary Drake said.

Goecker said it was a reasonable request that could be met.

Councilman Mark Reynolds said what the board was most concerned with was a contractor coming in and starting then leaving for two or three months for a bigger job.

Goecker Construction has been in business for 60 years and that wouldn’t be the case if they pulled off jobs, Goecker said.

“That’s just not the way we do business,” he said. “If I can’t get to a job and stay there and work it, I’m not going to get started on it.”

Project architect David Correll of Seymour said he had no problem working with Goecker Construction.

“I’ve worked with them numerous times,” he said.

One of the main reasons for the town purchasing the former Jackson County Banner building is the current town hall facility at 200 W. Walnut St., built in 1945, is not compliant with the Americans with Disability Act.

When complete, the building will house offices for the clerk-treasurer and deputy clerk-treasurer and a meeting room. All town meetings will be conducted there, and there will be two ADA-compliant restrooms for the public to use.

The police department will have space for eight cubicles and separate offices for the chief, assistant chief, school resource officer and detective. There also will be an interview room, a mechanical room, and men’s and women’s locker rooms with restrooms.

In the back of the building will be two garage bays and an evidence room.

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