Todd Larson is the County Engineer for both Stevens and Big Stone Counties. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

After meeting with representatives of Donlar Construction and CBS Squared Architectural Design, Stevens County Engineer Todd Larson came before the County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to seek approval for a design contract of a proposed new Highway Department facility. Larson explained why it was necessary to approve the $168,000 contract with CBS Squared.

“It appears to be within our budget of $2.75 million,” said Larson. “In order to move forward with the contract any time in the next two years — we can put this on the shelf or in the drawer and pull it out this fall or this winter or next spring — whenever we were comfortable with doing it. But in order to do that would require a contract with an architect to finish that design work so that Donlar Construction could move forward with their estimate and get us a final guaranteed maximum price.”

Larson said interior changes to the floor plan can be done even while the project is being constructed. The commissioners did want to see the design plan, so a work meeting was scheduled for Tuesday following the 9 a.m. emergency management update meeting. Commissioner Ron Staples said the Facilities Committee thought that bidding for the project could be favorable in light of the pandemic-related economic slowdown. The contract was approved unanimously and also means that land preparation can be done on the site, which could amount to $150,000 in savings by getting the dirt work done now.

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