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County, architect discuss lower price, communication

1/10/2014

By RANDY GONZALES

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Ellis County Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst wants the architect for the county's new EMS/rural fire plan to provide specifications for a metal building.

The six bids for the current concrete structure all came in above the budget of $3.5 million to $3.6 million. The lowest bid was $3.95 million.

"My opinion is -- and I can't speak for the two other commissioners -- I want to see a metal building (specifications)," Haselhorst said after the commission's special meeting Friday afternoon with the architect via conference call at 718 Main. "I want to know what it's going to be. I know it's going to be considerably less (cost)."

Haselhorst also wants better communication going forward with the architect, Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture.

"I feel, as a commissioner, I let the general public down a little bit, not staying on top of that as we should, by taking an architect's word. ... Then I find out on the bid letting all these changes," Haselhorst said. "I think the big thing we had was a lack of communication, not keeping the commissioners informed."

That will change, Haselhorst said.

"I will guarantee all three commissioners will be very much more involved," he said. "If we're making changes in this project, we need to know."

See Sunday's Hays Daily News for more coverage.