Marion County commissioners Monday struggled through about half of their meeting before deciding with reservations to award a bid to roof and repair the courthouse tower.
Arrow Roofing of Canton was the awarded the project for a bid of $54,430.
Commissioners said their biggest reservation was that Arrow Roofing’s bid was so far below the competitive bids of $183,676 from Delta Roofing of Kansas City, and $169,473 from Wray Roofing of Newton.
Greg Leslie, technical consultant from Garland Co. Inc. in Overland Park, told the commissioners the wide discrepancy in prices could be because of the distance away from the site for hauling equipment, non-union labor as opposed to union labor, and whether a company owns its own crane for the work or has to lease one.
Leslie said Arrow, just like the other two companies, is bonded, so if anything caused it to withdraw, its bonding company would be required to cover the difference between its bid and the next highest bid.
Leslie said he has been familiar with Arrow’s work in another state, and he is confident of the company’s competency.
Although it is more expensive—$41,050 compared to $39,848 for steel with the Arrow bid—to roof the clock tower with flat steam silver-colored zinc, Leslie assured the commissioners it will be worth it because of the zinc’s expected 75-year lifespan.
Other bids for the zinc were $154,101 from Delta Roofing and $134,893 from Wray Roofing.
Leslie and the commissioners noted that all work has to be done in more-expensive fashion because of the courthouse’s state and federal classification as a historic building.
Before the bid was accepted, Leslie recommended that the commissioners might want to consider hiring a consulting engineer familiar with historical building renovation to oversee the project.
There also is a need to replace at least six concrete passover supports for the tower that are fracturing and crumbling “before they are completely gone,” Leslie said.
One of those supports has slid partly down the roof, he said.
Leslie assured the commissioners he periodically will be inspecting the roofing during the work, and taking photos for quality assurance.
The other half of Monday’s meeting was in executive sessions for department head evaluations.
The county commissioners will be meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday for the October payday meeting.