top of page

Lincoln County Commission rejects bids for Highway Office Project

The Lincoln County Commission met Tuesday, May 14 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. With all members present, Commissioners heard agenda items including the highway department office,

Highway Superintendent, Terry Fluit joined the meeting to introduce Brad Dietzenbach of VanDeWalle Architects to discuss overall project costs, pre-bid cost estimates, and the possible reason initial construction estimates were low compared to the bid results. 

“We had three bidders on the job, Hoogendoorn Construction, Sunkota Construction and Beck & Hofer Construction. You can see based off the bid tab there’s about a $9,900 spread between the highest and lowest bid which represents a very competitive bidding process. Each contractor used the same mechanical, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contractor in their bids, which probably represents why the bid is so tight,” Dietzenbach said. 

In January, Dietzenbach and Fluit ran numbers for preliminary pricing with 80 percent construction documents to verify costs were in line or if readjustments were going to have to be made and the two had an estimate of $516,450 for the project. 

“After I got the bids, I reached out to the design team and asked Hoogendoorn to come up with a list of Value engineering (VE) items by reviewing the design and they came up with several items, one of them being revising the HVAC system to a more basic system which would save potentially $76,000, remove the second bathroom in the office which is a reduction of $28,000, we confirmed Davis Bacon wages were not required and that saves us $4,000, we also looked at shifting the building a foot forward as currently the new addition footing and foundation is over the existing sewer line that comes out of the building, which means we’d have to cut up concrete inside the building and reroute the sewer line, if we can avoid putting footings and foundations over the existing sewer line that would save us roughly $6,000, we looked at some of the concrete patch repair work around the outside of the building that could save us $16,500 or a total of $146,000 in VE items,” he said. 

The new adjusted price would be approximately $732,500.

Commissioner Mike Poppens asked if Fluit’s budget could absorb another $400,000 for this project. 

“We do have a bridge project that was supposed to go this year as a preservation project, but it cannot because it’s not ready to go yet and we can’t go to bid on it so that project will not happen this year and I had an amount close to $400,000 on that one,” Fluit responded. 

Chairman Jim Jibben asked for public input on the matter. 

Scott Montgomery took to the podium to express his opinion. 

“Over the last three years, my taxes have gone up 130 percent and I’m just having a hard time understanding why we need this. Apparently, they’re operating just fine without this office, we’re going to spend a minimum of $54 million on a new courthouse and I don’t know why that office couldn’t be incorporated in either the new building or the old building. But for us to spend somewhere close to a million dollars for an office, how is that going to serve me as a taxpayer? Are we going to save a million dollars for the county? I don’t think so. I would strongly suggest you turn this down and you know somewhere we need to start pinching pennies here if we’re just going to keep raising everybody’s taxes so we can have a new office every once in a while. This is crazy,” he said. 

A motion to reject all bids was made by Poppens, seconded by Joel Arends. Motion approved.

The board read the first reading for an Ordinance of Lincoln County, SD, rezoning Tract 1, Kwallek’s Addition, NW1/4, Section 32-T100N-R50W, Delapre Township, from the A-1 Agricultural District to the I-1 Light Industrial District, and amending the Official Zoning Map of Lincoln County. The Planning Commission recommended approval,  failed 0-6. The second reading and public hearing is to occur on May 28.

Chairman Jibben opened the floor for public comment before going into executive session. Linda Montgomery was the first to speak. 

“I am here again today to talk to you about my two favorite subjects, one is the CVR and one is the audit logs. Again I repeat what they are for, they are used to audit the election for ease of the auditors, the officials, the public so that they can have confidence in that tabulator and in their election results. Now I know there’s a lot of discussion about I believe that the tabulators are 100 percent correct. The only way to make sure that that is a true statement is by the CVR’s and the audit logs or a full audit of the hand count and compared it to the machine. My fear right now is that the Secretary of State has talked to ESNS about turning off the cast vote records which would deny us the right to audit the election whether to prove it right or to prove it wrong. Now what I want, and I just found out the other day that our Auditor is able by herself to look to see if the CVR’s are on or off. I haven’t been able to talk to her about that yet, but I want a public session at the next meeting of this commission to discuss that in Lincoln County, we need the CVR’s to be turned on and the audit logs to be turned on so we can make sure that our tabulators are correct, and our election is correct. Our people, my people in my precinct, your people in your districts want to know that we truly are running a free, fair, and most of all, transparent election. This is the most basic freedom we have and I believe it is important enough to put it on the next agenda and I would like one of you, two of you or all of you to realize how important this is and to please put it on the next agenda and I will bring experts. It’s actually here, the Federal Government has already stated why we need the CVR’s and the audit logs. What are they used for? To be able to audit the election and to provide the citizens and you and the Auditors and all officials, a perfect audit log of what happened in that election. I respectfully request a public session for next time regarding this and I want Lincoln County to have affidavits signed before that election that the CVR and the audit logs are turned on. Thank you,” she said.


bottom of page