Hospital bond vote is timing issue

To the editor,

It’s a Timing Issue!

I am resigning from my position on the Power County Hospital Board as a board member and as treasurer. My family and work obligations have grown to the point that I am unable to continue devoting the time necessary to serve the board and Power County at the level this work demands.

Before leaving, I wanted to help explain a couple of things about the PCHD bond and the renovation that is underway. The initial bond was presented to Power County during the May, 2017, election. As you might imagine, lots of work goes into getting a bond proposal in place long before it can be voted on. The project had to be assessed and preliminary plans made. Estimates for the work had to be figured out before the bond could even be proposed, and those estimates had to be based on hard numbers.

The problem with this process is one of timing. The estimates are based off of contractor rates and material costs as they stood in 2016. The bond is passed in 2017, and then the architects and engineers got to work. It took a year to draw up detailed plans so that we could lock in material purchases and seek contractor bids.

By 2018, due to a booming economy, the cost of materials and the cost of contractor work had risen over 25 percent from the estimates in 2016. We did everything we could to reduce the costs, but the slim margin that we were allowed to ask for in the bond was not nearly sufficient to cover that rise in cost.

Now, we are faced with seeking a supplemental bond to finish the renovation. I ask you to consider the following points:

  1. We have held the contractors to their bids, but remember that we couldn’t even seek bids until the initial bond had been authorized and the architects and engineers had finished their detailed plans;
  2. As the economy continues to roar along, the cost of materials and construction work has risen even more and will continue to rise; and
  3. We are again constrained by time because we will lose our contractors and material contracts and have to re-bid the remaining work at even higher rates if we keep voting against the supplemental bond.

I just wanted you all to know the background.

Thank you,

Curry D. Andrews

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