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Boyceville asking for clarification on RFP amounts from $84,000 to $174,000 for new fire station

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE  —  The Five-year Capital Improvement and Planning Committee of the Boyceville Community Fire District is asking for clarification on the amounts received in the Requests For Proposals to build a new fire station.

The five-year planning committee met August 10 prior to the Boyceville fire district meeting to discuss the RFPs.

Rich Monn, chair of the five-year planning committee and the Town of Stanton’s representative on the fire board, said he had read through the four RFPs received for building a new 13,000 square-foot fire station and ended up with more questions than answers about what each amount in the bids actually covered.

The amounts for the RFPs to design a new fire station in Boyceville and to act as project manager for the construction range from $84,000 for Ratsch Engineering to $174,000 for SEH (Short Elliott Hendrickson).

Ratsch Engineering, for example, indicated that the design of erosion control would be subcontracted with Cedar Corporation, but the RFP does not clarify whether that amount is included in the bid or if it is an extra cost, Monn said.

“What we are looking for is what it will cost with all of the subcontracting added in,” he said.

Members of the five-year planning committee had intended that the amounts received in the RFPs would include design and project management to build a turnkey fire station.

The $84,000 bid from Ratsch Engineering covers “plan development, design and administrative.”

The $174,000 bid from SEH covers “programming, concept and design services” for $37,500; “final design services” for $92,000; and “administrative costs” for $44,500.

The $101,500 bid from Five Bugles Design includes $72,000 for “design services” and $29,500 for “administration costs.”

The $119,750 bid from Cedar Corporation includes “design, bidding and administration.”

Mike Blechinger, five-year planning committee member and representative for the Town of Tiffany, wondered if the cost of grant writing is included in the RFPs.

All of the design companies will prepare bid documents for a $1 million building or $1.2 million or $1.4 million — but what is the number to get to that point? Monn asked.

Another question involves the number of site visits included in the RFPs, said Charles Maves, committee member and representative for the Town of Sherman.

“We need someone there to make sure they are using the right steel and are not cutting corners,” he said.

The Boyceville fire board can ask to be updated on the building’s progress more frequently, but more frequent visits to the job site also will increase the cost, Monn noted.

Knowing what is specifically included in the RFP is critical for fire board members so they can take an accurate number back to their town boards to obtain authorization for moving forward, members of the five-year planning committee agreed.

If grant writing costs $23,000, for example, and that is added to Ratsch’s bid of $84,000, then the total is $107,000 and would be more than the bid from Five Bugles at $101,500 if grant writing was included in the Five Bugles bid, Monn pointed out.

The five-year planning committee agreed to ask each of the architectural firms for clarification on their bids in the RFPs and whether grant writing is included in the amounts submitted.

The information is expected to be available early next month so the five-year planning committee can review the additional information and then make a recommendation to the Boyceville Community Fire District board, Monn said.

The fire board approved sending out the Requests for Proposals at the May meeting and allowed the architectural companies 60 days to return their RFPs.

The Request for Proposals included a deadline of August 1.

Ratsch Engineering is out of Neillsville. Cedar Corporation is out of Menomonie. Five Bugles Design, a division of Architectural Design Group, is out of Eau Claire. SEH is located in Chippewa Falls.