WILMINGTON — Two county commissioners expressed dissatisfaction with some contracted services related to relocating and redesigning spaces for two county departments in an upcoming courthouse project.
Clinton County Commissioners President Brenda K. Woods brought up the matter Wednesday, and said that earlier she had pulled out the professional design services contract that the county drew up with the Casler Design Group for design and planning services. Woods said she used a marker to highlight things in the proposal that haven’t been done.
The commissioner said one thing the design firm was supposed to do is help the county find contractors. On Monday only one company bid for the construction work when sealed bids were opened.
Woods also was unhappy with the duration of the design work. She added she understands the interior designer for the project “probably feels that we rushed her at that end, but yet I feel they had six months prior to us calling ….”
Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty said when somebody is paying for a professional service, there are certain expectations and he questions whether that bar of expectations was always met.
A News Journal phone message for possible comment left late in the business day with the 30-year-old architecture, planning and interior design firm was not immediately returned. Woods had indicated Wednesday she anticipates asking for a meeting with the firm’s president to discuss a bill.
Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed didn’t say during Wednesday’s public session whether he’s unhappy with the services. He said he would like to review Woods’ highlightings a little bit more.
Steed last year encouraged the county to retain professional experts to provide guidance in re-configuring existing office spaces for new occupants in a way that best utilizes the courthouse infrastructure that’s already in place. Furthermore, spending some money on design services can reduce the cost to remodel, said Steed.
The lump sum for the designing and planning services is $7,850 according to an April 2018 News Journal report.
The idea for a “testing toilet” for drug-testing within the Adult Probation Department came up last spring when a Casler Design Group interior designer asked about a drug-testing area for Probation’s reconfigured space, and the Clinton County Common Pleas judge and the director of the court’s Adult Probation Department both immediately endorsed the idea. Presently, the drug-testing is done in a public restroom.
The Adult Probation Department and the Public Defender’s Office are the two county government units being relocated at the courthouse.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.