By BRADEN LAMMERS
Bids for a new Jeffersonville Police Department station — to be constructed on 10th Street — came in a little higher than the engineer’s estimate Friday.
Jeffersonville’s Board of Public Works held a special meeting to open the bids for the proposed police station, but took no action on accepting an offer. City Attorney Les Merkley said it is likely that after review, a bid will be accepted at the board’s regular Wednesday meeting.
Seven companies returned bids to the city out of 14 potential contractors. In addition to a base bid price, each contractor was asked to provide bids on up to nine alternative pieces of the project.
The low bidder for the base bid portion of the project was Floyds Knobs-based AML Inc., at $6.25 million. The engineer’s base bid estimate totaled $5.8 million.
In addition to the base price, nine alternative pieces to the project were included in the contractors’ submittals: Alternate 1, a garage; alternate 2; an additional shell space; alternate 3, an upgrade to the flooring; alternate 4, laminated glass; alternate 5, a covered parking area; alternate 6, a covered canopy; alternate 7, painting of the exposed structure; alternate 8, which is a credited amount, is to revise the ceiling to wood; and alternate 9, which is also a credit, would be to revise the ceiling to panels.
“This is a wish list,” Merkley said. “We looked at what is the bare bones of the project, which is the base bid, and then there were other things that we would like to have that we felt were important.”
He added that the alternates bid on in the plan were suggest by the Jeffersonville Police Department.
The highest bidder on the project, Badgett Constructors LLC — with all of the additional cost alternatives included and none of the reductions — submitted an $8.4 million bid.
Although the base bids were higher than the engineer’s estimate, they were within 5 percent, and the total cost bid did not exceed the bond amount approved. Jeffersonville’s City Council agreed to seek a bond of up to $11 million to construct the new police station.
“We’re within 5 percent of the construction estimate, so I don’t think that’s too unreasonable,” Merkley said.
He explained the higher-than-expected projection is likely related to an improvement in the construction market.
“We got a really good deal on the Big Four [bridge] because the market was way down and everyone wanted work, so we came in below estimate on that,” he said. “But now, I think the market is ticking up a little bit, so we’re getting back to where it normally is.”
The city is paying for the new police station through the bond, which will be backed by tax-increment financing, or TIF, revenue. An annual bond payment will total about $800,000 per year.
Jeffersonville expects to pay off the bond debt using public safety local option income tax funds, but a state restriction will not allow the money to be pledged as the source of funds to repay the bond. As a result, the city, and subsequently the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission, had to approve the TIF money as the source of the bond’s repayment. The 2013 disbursement of LOIT money to Jeffersonville is expected to total $2.2 million, leaving an estimated $1.4 million remainder in the fund after the bond payment has been made.
Merkley said at the time the bond was approved the hope was to be able to close the bond April 25 and to break ground on the new station June 1.