County starts bidding despite FCCF lawsuit setback

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Despite the litigation that has hindered finances, the county will carry out a bidding for the initial portion of criminal justice center construction Wednesday.

The bidding is for footings, foundation, utilities, precast and some site demolition. The county is expected to start this portion of construction as soon as possible, possibly before the winter season would start so that the project can be continued on throughout the winter to minimize the construction cost.

But, the litigation by the Freeborn County Committee for Fairness (FCCF) may change the whole schedule, County Administrator Ron Gabrielsen said.

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Though the bids will be open on the same day, Gabrielsen said they can hold the final decision to award the contract 40 days after the bidding. The county hopes the litigation will be resolved within the period.

The litigation has made

last week’s sale of a $26.3 million bond unsuccessful. And without the bond sale, the county cannot start any part of project.

The delay in the sale will most likely accrue extra costs because of the higher interest rates and incremental construction costs. The county will also lose prospective interest out of the money in the pot. Gabrielsen asked the financial firm Evensen Dodge to count every dollar the county has lost because of the lawsuit, and

said they will assess those damages to the FCCF.