by April Scheinoha
Pete Filippi admitted it was a laundry list, when he came before the Pennington County Board on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Afterward, commissioners approved $145,249.83 in change orders for the justice center, which remains under construction.
That amount may decrease after BKV Group reviews three of the change orders. The firm hadn’t had an opportunity to review the change orders since the change orders arrived a day before commissioners met.
Filippi, who is employed with the Contegrity Group, anticipated that the new jail will be completed at the end of May. Commissioner Don Jensen noted construction is about a month behind schedule. The estimated $18.3 million justice center will also house the County Attorney’s Office, court administration, probation and the Pennington County Board room. Those areas will be finished sometime after May.
The justice center budget includes a contingency fund of about $494,000. As part of this latest round of change orders Feb. 13, the largest was for $70,046.66, which involved adding outlets and data capabilities throughout the justice center. Filippi said a substantial portion involved outlets and data capabilities in the day rooms of the jail. This would be a potential revenue source for the county, Filippi said. Other outlets were added for video visitation, another fingerprint machine and extra cameras.
The second largest change order was $18,037 to change a ceiling in the work release area of the jail. The Minnesota Department of Corrections required the change after a walk-through of the new jail, Filippi said.
The third largest change order was $12,927.15 for a fresh air vent in the inmate recreation area.
County Board approved Christianson’s Business Furniture Plus of Fargo, N.D., as its primary provider of furniture for the justice center. Christianson’s had provided a bid of $112,604 for some of the needed office furniture. Bruce Schwartzman, partner with BKV Group, expected that number would be “tightened up” once a BKV Group employee met with county departments to finalize specifics of what was needed.
Commissioners approved allowing Sheriff Ray Kuznia to purchase a 2018 Ford Explorer off of the state bid list. Kuznia told The Times that he expected the purchase would be about $27,000. A portion of that purchase price will be covered by $11,233 in insurance money since the vehicle replaces another squad vehicle totalled in an accident in Detroit Lakes. Kuznia said Investigator Blaize Zimmerman suffered a diabetic reaction, leading to the accident.
In separate motions, commissioners approved several personnel matters related to the Law Enforcement Center. They approved internally posting for a position of jail sergeant; internally hiring Sean Farris for the jail field training officer position; hiring Jenna Shern as a corrections officer; and reposting for a dispatcher position. Earlier, commissioners approved hiring Brody Merrill for the dispatcher position, but he has since returned to work as a corrections officer.