by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday, May 10 to forward an agenda item to its Thursday meeting to accept a $610,927 bid from the Perrin Construction Company of Durand to renovate the American Red Cross building at 702 W. Corunna Ave. in Corunna. Built in 1986, the building was purchased by the county in 2016 to be transformed into the new headquarters of Shiawassee Central Dispatch.
Central Dispatch currently operates out of the Shiawassee County Jail at 201 E. McArthur St. in Corunna. Limited work space and the federally mandated transition to Next Generation 911 technology precipitated the decision to relocate.
Though Commissioner Gary Holzhausen voiced his opposition and voted against accepting the bid during the May 10 meeting, the six other commissioners voted in favor. Holzhausen feels the project costs too much and is unnecessary.
“A lot of us had concerns about this project, but Perrin is a local contractor, who actually built the American Red Cross building back in 1986,” Commissioner Dan McMaster said during the May 10 meeting. “We have explored the other options, such as building a new facility or using another building, but this option makes the most sense. I think we have done our due diligence.”
The project was put out to bid on April 28 and Perrin’s original bid came in at $799,900, but two addendums have brought the bid down closer to the $600,000 target cost. Commissioner Jeff Bartz pointed out that delaying the project further could increase the cost. Perrin Construction will be ready to begin the project on June 1 and expects to complete the job in five months. The board was set to finalize the decision during its Thursday, May 11 meeting.