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Commissioners: Cuts in the kitchen

By Staff | Sep 6, 2008

With construction moving along on the new Faribault County Law Enforcement Center, it was time for a decision on the type of kitchen to be installed in the jail.

The county board decided to authorize soliciting quotes for a scaled back service kitchen.

“The estimated cost for this type of kitchen is $40,000,” Architect Steve Johnson tells the board.

Johnson, of Vetter-Johnson Architects of Minneapolis, had a drawing of the proposed kitchen and a list of equipment.

The full kitchen originally in the jail plan was estimated to cost $117,000. Since the county contracts with Parker Oaks in Winnebago to supply the meals to the jail, the commissioners felt putting in a full kitchen was not economical.

Johnson had a list of optional equipment which could be added, but was not absolutely necessary at this time. The estimated price of the options was $17,000.

The board authorized the construction company, CAM of Brainerd, to obtain quotes for the kitchen construction. They decided to get the quotes both for the base equipment and the optional items.

“We don’t need to do bids because the project is under $100,000,” says Gary Otterstadt. president of CAM. “There are only two or three vendors who will be interested in giving quotes.”

“We can see how the costs come in,” Commissioner Tom Loveall says. “In the future we may need to go with the alternate equipment if we don’t continue to get the meals catered in.”

Johnson and Otterstadt also discussed the water softener bids with the commissioners.

The bids came in at prices ranging from $13,000 up to $17,000.

Otterstadt says there were five firms qualified to present bids, and several offered up to five or six options.

Commissioners quizzed Otterstadt and Johnson concerning local firms being able to bid, due to water pressure requirements.

“We followed state standards for water pressure in preparing the bid requirements,” Johnson says.

Those require a pressure of 180 gallons per minute (gpm) and no more than a seven gpm drop due to the water conditioning equipment.

Commissioners requested copies of all the bids so that they could study them for themselves. They indicated they want to see if there are local bidders.

“I am no engineer, but I want to see what our requirements are,” Commissioner Tom Loveall says. “Maybe it’s too much and maybe it isn’t.”

Otterstadt says the requirements have to do with having adequate water supply if all outlets for water are used at the same time.

“All the toilets may never be flushed at the same time when other water is also being run, but we need to be prepared for it,” Otterstadt says. “It’s like the electrical, we need a transformer capable of handling everything at once, even thought that may never happen.”

Another question from the commissioners had to do with adequate space for the softener equipment. One bidder had complained about there not being enough room.

Johnson says they are looking for a commercial grade softener system, and not smaller units strung in series.

“We have enough room for it,” he responded.