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Bids awarded for Government Center projects

HUDSON -- Contracts are being finalized and work on the roof, exterior walls and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the St. Croix County Government Center will begin soon.

Building Services Director Art Tobin said that he expects the projects will start within a week.

Pearson Mechanical, Hugo, Minn., with a bid of $1,269,000 will do the HVAC work. MacPherson Towne Company, Minneapolis, will be paid $180,490 to repair exterior walls. The roof work will be done by Mcphillips Larson & Barrie Inc., Hudson, for $908,170.

"We're two things: Very excited and very nervous," said Tobin.

He said the work will be done by quality engineers and quality contractors, who are aware court and other government center functions will be going on during construction.

Hour-long information sessions for county employees to go over the scope of the work and timelines were held last Thursday and Friday.

Hiring software

On a vote of 3-2, the county's Finance Committee decided to buy and implement an automated personnel recruiting and hiring system called NeoGov.

The $10,700 needed to buy and begin using the software this year was not specifically included in the 2009 budget. But a company representative projected the county could save that much and more in out-of-pocket expenses for paper, postage and printing.

Now personnel workers have no way to conveniently track data in the hiring process, said Human Resources Administrator Tammy Funk. She said the new system would make it easier for people to apply for county jobs and would relieve personnel workers of some routine tasks.

Now, she said, the office gets many calls from people wondering if their applications have been received.

"I think long term we want to do this," said Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting. But he said he isn't sure if it should be done right now.

Finance Committee Chairman Daryl Standafer said he'd prefer to see the decision made as part of the normal budget process. He said the committee should set an example of working within usual procedures.

"It seems to me that this is an opportunity to trade in a truck that gets two miles per gallon for one that gets 200 miles per gallon," responded Supervisor Buck Malick, town of Hudson. "It doesn't strike me as wise to delay implementing an efficiency."

"I see this as being a savings, a potential savings of dollars," agreed Supervisor Sharon Norton-Bauman, Hudson.

Committee members Standafer and Esther Wentz, New Richmond, voted against Malick's motion to immediately acquire and implement the system.