Butler County OKs $370K for monument repairs

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Butler County OKs $370K for monument repairs

A contract has been awarded for restoration of a Butler County monument.

The county has awarded NR Lee Restoration a $360,900 contract for restoration of the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneer monument in downtown Hamilton.

The bids on the monument ranged from $156,000 to $816,000, and the architect’s estimate topped $1 million.

The bid that was awarded to NR Lee Restoration will not include some things needed to fully fix the 112-year-old building that houses historic artifacts and war records, according to Randy Quisenberry, Asset and Purchasing Director for the county.

“What’s not included in the award is bird deterrent,” he said. “There is new technology now. It used to be the wire spikes to keep (birds) from walking on certain areas. That becomes problematic because it catches leaves and debris and it holds water … we don’t have the budget for that at this time.”

The lower half of the building’s masonry work will also not be completed at this time, according to Quisenberry.

Quisenberry said they won’t need the $90,000 for scaffolding because the company has its own lift trucks and the contingency and “general conditions” money — which was estimated at $283,464 — won’t be nearly that high.

The remainder of the $500,000 budget will be used for contingencies and architect’s fees. Work could begin in a couple weeks, according to Quisenberry.

Working toward restoration of the monument “has been quite a journey,” Commissioner Don Dixon said, adding that the county received the best deal for the best price.

“Rather than rushing out and throwing a few million dollars at a problem and not really fixing it, I think this was a better solution,” he said. “It was a great deal and I think that goes to show you just don’t take the first price given to the government and you let (contractors) know you expect to get your money’s worth.”

“We’re very pleased to see it moving forward,” John Guidugli, president and CEO of the Hamilton Community Foundation, said. “Obviously we want to see as much quality work that can be done for the least amount of money.”

Artifacts and records housed in the monument’s building are in peril due to its crumbling ceiling and other structural issues, officials have said.

The first phase had an estimated price tag of $471,778, plus $90,000 for scaffolding that would be up for six months, $157,480 for contingencies and $125,984 for general conditions, meaning what contractors may find beneath the surface.

The second phase was expected to cost $33,550 and included things like new storm windows over the stained glass and other windows and cleaning the bronze sculpture at the top. These items would be addressed in a three- to five-year time frame.

The third phase was estimated at $124,923 and would address aesthetics such as cleaning, replacing bird deterrents and other finishing touches.

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