County discusses ways to pay for $8.6 million jail

Staff reporter

The county will meet with construction management companies to determine if one is needed for the project.

Construction management companies typically charge the same percentage as architects/engineers do for projects which could cost the county an additional $550,000 or about eight percent of the total project. However, general contractors also charge for their services, three to five percent of the total project.

Rangle explained the difference.

Design, bid, and build is the traditional method of doing a project. The general contractor would be in charge of finding sub-contractors and ultimately responsible for bringing the total project within the initial bid. If the general contractor is able to find sub-contractors for less than bid, the general contractor can pocket the savings as a profit.

A construction manager would work for the county. That person would be involved in the early stages, before bidding, and would be able to provide insight into construction ideas and costs.

The manager would be on-site throughout the process, being responsible for the total construction of the project.

If a general contractor is used, the architect/engineer would have weekly on-site visits for inspections and oversight.

Smith said there were two types of construction managers — adviser and instructor. He said Sumner County had a construction management company in an advisory capacity.

"I strongly recommend that you not do that," Smith said. "There is no 'buy-in' when the construction manager is only advising."

When a construction manager is an instructor or at-risk, he is guaranteeing that the project will be built for a set price. If the project is not constructed for that price, he pays the difference.

The flip side of construction management are independent contractors.

Rangle said there were 26 bids by independent contractors for the Sumner County Jail. Some of those contractors could not provide a bond on their own but working under a general contractor, they could bid because the general contractor would provide the bond for them.

"It could drive up costs if contractors have to purchase their own bonds and insurance instead of being under the general contractor," Rangle said.

"I want somebody on-scene to make sure things are done the way they are supposed to be done," Holub said. "If we're paying for six inches of concrete, I want to make sure we're getting six inches of concrete."

"That's our job, too," Smith said, "to make sure things are done the way they are supposed to."

Holub asked if local contractors would be considered for the job. Smith said they would have to be qualified to do the job.

Rangle said local contractors could be a consideration in the bidding process and specified in the bid document.

The next step

Rangle was instructed by the commission to provide an architectural rendering or drawing of the facility with a concept plan.

He suggested the county have public forums to determine a floor plan and to answer questions.

The commission determined the public presentations should be provided by the architects with the commission in attendance.

Flyers, PowerPoint presentations, and other marketing tools will be used as a means to inform and educate taxpayers.

Plans are for the bond issue to be on the ballot in the Nov. 4 election. At that time, Marion County voters can decide if they want a new jail.