Polk DSS opening pushed to next month

Published 2:15 pm Friday, November 11, 2011

Contract up today; fines of $300 per day could begin

The Polk County Department of Social Services (DSS) will have to wait a little longer before it can begin working out of its new building, and the contractor could be responsible for hefty fines starting today, Nov. 14, if a certificate of occupancy is not granted.

Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson announced during the commissioner meeting on Monday, Nov. 7 that the move-in date has been pushed to Dec. 12, which is almost a month later than scheduled.

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Whitson said the heating and cooling controls are not correct in the new building, nor is the soffit installed yet.

The contract for the project ends today and if a certificate of occupancy is not granted today, Able Contracctors will be assessed liquidated damages at a rate of $300 per day for every day the building is not move-in ready.

“I’m not positive they won’t meet the deadline but if they don’t there will be liquidated damages of $300,” Whitson said.

Whitson said the heating and cooling systems work, but the controls are not the ones ordered. The work on the soffit, or eaves underneath the roof, had to be stopped recently because there was no insulation, so contractors will have to spray in insulation prior to receiving a certificate of occupancy. As of late last week, the work had not been completed.

The Polk County Building Inspector will determine whether to grant the certificate of occupancy.

The previous moving date was Nov. 18 and prior to that the county had hoped the building would be ready by the end of October.

Whitson said he is being conservative by pushing the date back almost a month due to allowing for the Thanksgiving holiday and the county’s employee Christmas party, which is scheduled for Dec. 9.

The DSS office in Tryon will be closed in order to move into the new building on Dec. 12. Services are scheduled to begin there on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

The new building is located off Wolverine Trail in Mill Spring on the county’s recreation park and middle school property.

The county is still on budget at $2 million for the approximately 12,000-square-foot building.

The county approved a construction bid of $1,590,755 from Able Contractors for the project. The total project is estimated at $2 million, with the county agreeing to finance up to $1.85 million for the building.