Carbon lawmakers opened the only bid the county received for construction of a concession area at the fairgrounds during the regular commission meeting on May 7.
Submitted by Kent Stilson Construction Company, the bid was for $134,004.
The construction figure in the bid exceeded the amount budgeted for the project by $34,000 and proposal registered $40,000 more than the estimated cost on the building provided by county personnel.
"This is ridiculous," said Commissioner Mike Milovich. "I just sat here and figured it out and the cost of building the concession stand according to that bid is over $200 a square foot. We need another alternative."
Concerned about the bid, the commissioners discussed alternatives for constructing the building and keeping the cost down.
"If you have seen where food is being served at the fairgrounds now, you would know that this is badly needed," said Commissioner Bill Krompel. "But, at this cost, it just isn't in the budget. We pretty much bid it out so local contractors could do the work, but maybe we will have to look outside the area."
The county attorney indicated that the commissioners could reject the proposal on the building and rebid the fairgrounds project.
But commissioners decided to explore possible construction alternatives to reduce costs.
"Could we be the project manager and hire subcontractors to do some of the work?" Krompel asked planning and zoning director Dave Levanger.
"I believe, now that you have tried to bid it out, we could do that," said Levanger. "But do remember, this type of facility is an expensive project, largely because of the stainless steel that is in a cooking facility."
Moving on to an unrelated county matter, the commissioners agreed to start an increase in ambulance fees. The increase is mandated by the state beginning May 15.
In addition, the lawmakers approved the preliminary plan to go ahead with constructing an outdoor gun range south and east of the Carbon County Airport.
"After having the public meeting last week and looking at all the alternatives, it appears building an outdoor range with the possibility of providing an indoor range later is the best idea," stated Commissioner Steve Burge.
"The outdoor range uses the money the county has more efficiently and that facility will certainly serve more people than the type of indoor range we could build now would."
Discussion about the shooting range then centered on the airport and the concerns that airport manager Mark Francis had at the previous public meeting.
Burge pointed out that the committee working on the shooting range project had already made some changes to the plan based on Francis' observations.
Harvey Howard, who owns Desert Thunder Raceways, voiced concerns about the proposed location of the range as well.
"My concerns are similar to the airport, only the raceway and pit area is closer to the range than they are," pointed out Howard.
"We have 15 or more Saturday nights a year when large numbers of people are at the raceway and that will also be during some of the times the range will be in use. I just want to go on record expressing my concerns about this. If my customers perceive the raceway to be unsafe, they may not come. I'm not against this project, I think it's a good idea. I just want to work with the group who is putting it together," concluded the raceway owner.
Burge explained that the outdoor shooting ranges he previously visited in other parts of the country used manmade berm systems that were not near as high as the natural ones on the current proposed range plans.
"Some of those ranges are in the middle of populated areas and they have had no problems," noted the county commissioner.
Addressing unrelated agenda items, the commissioners performed the following tasks:
Passed a plan for a new dental program for county employees. The program will save the county 15 percent and give employees 50 percent more coverage than is currently available.
Approved an application for a grant that Sheriff James Cordova is submitting.
The "no match grant money" would be used to put in towers for wireless communication during emergencies and for data flow, according to the lawmakers.
Tentatively approved phase two of the Hill subdivision.
The county commission's action remains contingent upon Price River Water Improvement District's board giving approval for the subdivision system.