Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

April 3, 2012

Panel hears update on health department project

CROSSVILLE — Commissioners serving on the building and grounds committee voted to allow $5,000 of contingency funds to be used toward installing electric wiring underground to the new Cumberland County Health Department facility.

"Volunteer Energy approached us and asked if we would consider going underground with the wiring in order to avoid future problems with all of the trees near the Physician's Associates property line," Kim Chamberlin, architect with Upland Design said. "The cost would be a little over $5,000 and I would highly recommend it."

Chamberlin told commissioners on the committee there is $80,000 in contingency funds on the project for incidentals that come up as the project progresses.

"This is a good example of something worth spending the money on. So far none of the contingency money has been used. I would recommend it. It's about 250 feet," Chamberlin said.

Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner and Johnny Presley, 3rd District commissioner, both expressed concerns with the cost of site prep on the project.

"You said we're looking at about $200,000 of site prep cost when the original figure was $100,000. How do you figure we haven't used any contingency funds?" Lynch asked.

"That $100,000 was an estimated figure and for total cost we are still under the budget total. That doesn't come out of contingency funds," Chamberlin said.

The county's portion of funds are budgeted at $1 million on the $6 million project.

"My concern is moving money when this is the building and grounds committee. I'd rather send it through budget ... If we approve it when we don't know the final number on the project and we end up going over the $80,000, then it's up to budget to figure out what to do and that ain't right," said 7th District Commissioner and Building and Grounds Committee Chairman Mike Harvel.

Chamberlin said that the money is already there and has been approved by budget so the building and grounds committee could decide to do the underground electric without technically having to refer it to budget committee.

"But if you want to do that it's fine, but I need to let them know something as soon as possible," Chamberlin said.

"I'd feel more comfortable," Harvel said.

"We've done this in the past and until it's up to the full $80,000 it's okay, but Mike's point is well taken," Lynch said.

Joe Koester, 5th District commissioner, made a motion to use the $5,000 for the underground electric.

Terry Carter, 6th District commissioner, supported the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Chamberlin said the state health commissioner recently visited and recommended them adding a spot for a fourth dental unit instead of three.

"The slab has already been poured and we would have to do some additional work because we originally planned for three. But I wanted you to know about the request," Chamberlin said.

"Is the state going to pay for the additional cost?" Presley asked.

"I don't know. Nothing was mentioned about that. I just wanted you to know all that I know about it so there are no surprises," Chamberlin said.

"How much would it be?" Harvel asked.

"My guess would be an additional $25,000 and we could move some stuff around, but I will have to get the numbers," Chamberlin said.

"Can you get us the numbers by Tuesday? That's when our budget meeting is," Lynch said.

"I will try my best," Chamberlin said.

Earlier in the meeting Chamberlin told commissioners the project was now coming along much more quickly that the weather has gotten nicer and the concrete slab has been poured and some of the walls are up.

"We should be getting the trusses up there soon and it won't be much longer, I'd say three to four weeks, and we'll be close to being dried in with the roofing anyway," Chamberlin said.

He explained the contractor, W&O Construction, had 50 days built into the project for weather delay and that they were now at a total of 50 days, extending the deadline up to Sept. 18.

"They have told me we're looking right at a completion date of around Sept. 25," Chamberlin said.

"I thought this grant money had to be used by Sept. 1?" Charles Seiber, 4th District commissioner said.

"Yeah, that is right, but with the weather days in the project that extends the deadline. The way it is worded we have until the end of September. We've been through this before on some other projects, even with another health department and I don't think there will be a problem. We have the documentation and it shouldn't be a problem," Chamberlin said.

"Well, we don't need to get into trouble with this grant," Presley said.

"I don't think there will be any issues. As long as we have the documentation and we can show it, I don't see a problem," Chamberlin said.

Chamberlin said the project was moving along quicker and several days had already been made up. He estimated the project to be complete Sept. 25.

Committee members and county commissioners Harry Sabine, 1st District and Robert Safdie, 2nd District, did not attend the meeting.

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