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LEC remodel bids get OK

The cost to remodel the Dickinson Law Enforcement Center will be much less than the Stark County Commission anticipated at just less than $1 million, commissioners learned at their monthly meeting Tuesday.

The cost to remodel the Dickinson Law Enforcement Center will be much less than the Stark County Commission anticipated at just less than $1 million, commissioners learned at their monthly meeting Tuesday.

Rob Remark of JLG Architects told commissioners that bids for the project came in lower than expected, even with a high contingency percentage on the project-due to possible unforeseen "surprises" that contractors could find hiding behind walls and in the ceilings of the building, which was built in the 1980s.

Remark said the project will only cost around $663,000 in contracting, electrical and mechanical fees. However, he said there will be a 15 percent contingency on the costs.

With contingencies and soft costs added in, the total cost of the project is about $992,000.

"It's a small project, a small scale," Remark said. "It's a remodel to an existing building. We know there's going to be some surprises when the ceilings and the walls come out. There's surprises that the design team made the decision ... to plan for rather than make assumptions for."

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Nonetheless, commissioners accepted the bids and were pleased with the price tag.

"This project came in under what we assumed it was going to cost by about $500,000," Commissioner Jay Elkin said.

Commissioner Pete Kuntz added that early in the process, the commission expected the remodel to cost around $1.4 million.

The Law Enforcement Center is home to the Stark County Sheriff's Office and formerly also housed the Dickinson Police Department, which moved into the Public Safety Center last year.

Stark County Sheriff Terry Oestreich said some of the soft costs will be to update technology and safety aspects of the building, including adding new interrogation room hardware and software to match what the police department uses.

"What's happening is the city, in their building, they have interview rooms that run with this system," Oestreich said. "But actually our interview rooms there are going to be utilized more because they're in the same building as our jail. So we wanted to try and have the same system for ease of operation so that there will be less chance of error in those recordings."

Oestreich jokingly referred to the current recording system as being "off the shelf, from Walmart," but noted more seriously that it's "not very reliable."

Remark said it's unlikely the contingency costs would be that high, nor would the soft costs, meaning the project will likely come in at a lower budget.

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V Scull Construction informed the commission that the Stark County Courthouse building project began Tuesday and that the west end of the courthouse parking lot will be closed beginning today.

V Representatives of the Waters Edge Subdivision southwest of Dickinson along Patterson Lake and the Heart River Golf Course approached the commission about the potential of paving a gravel road into the subdivision. County road superintendent Al Heiser will work with the homeowners assocation on creating a proposal.

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