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RTSSD approves change orders for senior center

Over all the new senior center, which is under construction, is over 13 percent complete.

Sun Advocate reporter

With two sweeping motions on Nov. 2, the Recreation Transportation Special Service District (RTSSD) approved some change orders for the new senior citizens center. In total, the modifications amount to $11,569 in additional costs. Although there is no single cause for the wave of changes, they did spark concern from district members, who questioned why the changes could not have been made earlier in the design phase rather than during construction.

Most of the changes involve the center's sewer and water systems, which need to be modified to allow for better drainage. Other items, such as a girder truss, were found to be inadequate and designs needed to be changed. While the changes would not be considered major, the issue of compensation arose because it was made clear that the architect is not responsible for errors or omissions.

During the meeting, district member Sam Quigley asked, "I would like someone to explain to me why architectural errors can result in their (the architect's) benefit." When architectural error is made, the contractor can receive up to 16 percent profit from the additional labor, while the architect can expect about a 6 percent increase.

"It's (the 6 percent that is) hard to swallow when it's the architect who errs," said district member Neil Breinholt.

Although the changes were approved, the controversy they sparked has led the board to request an audience with project architect Scott P. Evans.

"I'd rather have things change, so we don't inherent the maintenance down the road," said district member Bill Krompel.

Overall, the senior citizens center is about 13 percent complete. The board interviewed project electrical inspector Bob Fry, because electrical utilities will be installed soon.

According to Fry, he will inspect the building for the specifications set by the design, but he can only tell the district if something is wrong. He cannot advise regarding how to fix the problem. In all, he is available with 24 hours advance notice. His pay rate is $55 per hour with 50 cents per mile travel.

So far, Fry indicated that one of his concerns with the building involves the electrical supply to the building. Although it has been approved, he believes that it lacks specifications.

One specification that was added to the center was fiber optic cable, which will run from the new children's justice center to the senior center. The District took bids from installers Bodec for $21,453, West Star $27,402 and Ballard for $ 20,200. The district will inspect the bids to determine which is the lowest and most reasonable. The cost will create an additional fee for the project.

The senior center approval's focus then shifted to the tentative budget, which posts RTSSD revenues at $8,581,900.00 for 2009. However, there were discrepancies because it was discovered that the budget was overshot by about $100,000. In order to keep everything balanced, money was pulled from other budget areas, notably $50,000 from road maintenance which has a total budget of $1,300,000.

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