Commissioners find cheaper salt barn bidder

Bartholomew County Commissioners have found a company that they hope can build the new salt barn for the county highway garage on State Street. And at a cost the county can afford.

The commissioners tentatively awarded a bid this morning for $399,154 to Davies County Metal Sales to construct the building. The only other bidder was Dunlap and Co. with a bid of $523,000.

Previous bids, opened last month, came in at more than half a million dollars, well over the County Commissioners budget for the project. But county officials were able to trim the cost of the project by allowing contractors more freedom in constructing the roof and designing other aspects of the building, said Commissioner Rick Flohr.

The commissioners approved the low bidder, assuming the proposal met the required specifications.

Commissioners President Larry Kleinhenz said that county had about $350,000 set aside in the highway garage budget to pay for most of the project and the commissioners could draw from other funds if needed. Commissioners also agreed to encumber those funds at the end of this year, so that they do not have to be reauthorized next year by County Council.

The county has been under pressure from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to construct a barn to cover the county’s supplies of road salt, which now mostly sits in the open and leaches into the soil.