The Pulaski County Justice Center’s fire alarm upgrades have ended up costing an extra $10,000. Maintenance Director Mia Salyers told the county commissioners Monday that the fire panel is finally completed, but some change orders were required.
“Between myself and the jail commander, we approved the change orders on-site. They just need to be signed,” Salyers explained. The commissioners voted to let Salyers sign the change orders.
But there were also concerns about how to pay for them. Sheriff Jeff Richwine agreed to cover the first two change orders, totaling about $6,700, out of his department’s Misdemeanant Fund, but he declined to fund a third one for almost $3,500.
While Salyers said all three were necessary to complete the project, Richwine felt the Maintenance Department should have stood up to the contractor on some of the items. “The way I understand it, to get to one of these sensors in the duct work, they had to cut a pipe because nobody would build a daggone scaffolding and stick a ladder up there so you could crawl up there and do that,” Richwine said. “So they cut a daggone pipe in the system so they can use one of these lift trucks that we’re paying extra for. You know what I mean? So I think if there was somebody that could go have them arguments with those folks, we may not have incurred some of these bills.”
To pay for the third change order, Salyers asked for permission to seek an additional appropriation out of the LIT Special Purpose Fund. But in the end, the commissioners directed her to pay it out of her own budget and revisit an additional appropriation later, if necessary. The commissioners noted that would give them time to look through their own budget, to see if they could help with maintenance expenses that may come up before the end of the year.