ARCHITECT JEFF BRANDS and Shiawassee County Coordinator Dr. Brian Boggs are shown Monday, Aug. 22 at the Patti Matejewski Alley Dedication in Durand. Both men also serve on Durand’s City Council.
During the special meeting of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, Sept. 1 in Corunna, Brands offered a presentation to the board on the veterans affairs center remodel project and Boggs announced his departure from his position as county coordinator.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting in the Surbeck Building in Corunna on Thursday, Sept. 1. There were two items on the agenda. The first was to approve a bid on the veterans affairs center remodel project. The second was a closed session regarding Shiawassee County Coordinator Dr. Brian Boggs who announced his plan to leave his position. Boggs had requested the closed session.
The first item saw the commissioners approving a bid from RBF Construction not to exceed $699,000 for the veterans center remodel project. Jeff Brands of Durand, working as the architect on the project, and Veterans Affairs Director Mike Reeves were on hand to present plans to the commissioners. Boggs shared there had been two bids on the project, though the bid amounts had been “wildly different,” with the RBF Construction bid being the lower amount. It was also established that repairs/replacement of a section of roof are now required at the site at the former Griffin Home on N. Shiawassee Street. Boggs also offered that the need to have the special meeting on accepting the bid was due to a roughly $90,000 state grant set to expire soon. He was hopeful that with the commissioners approving the bid, the county would then be reimbursed the grant money.
Representing RBF Construction, Brands told the commissioners that RBF was “ready to go” with the project. He told council he had wanted the presentation to include a professional rendering/print on poster board, but said the professional rendering would instead be ready by the groundbreaking planned for Thursday, Sept. 29.
Chair Greg Brodeur (R-Dist. 2) asked if the dollar amount attached to the project was a “definite or a best guess?”
Brands responded, “As for the plans, it’s pretty accurate. Now, with remodeling, there’s always these unforeseen things we will run into, so I’m not going to tell you there’s not going to be extras.”
“So there isn’t a contingency built into this number for such things?” Brodeur asked of the $699,000.
“There could be,” Reeves answered. “Which is why I didn’t want to go with a whole $1 million. We could go with $1 million and be financially okay with that. However, that’s getting more out of the pool money that we’ve got that would have to come out and I didn’t want to start at the high end.” He explained he believes $1 million is the cap for the project when including the unknowns involved in construction.
The financial breakdown from Boggs stated the approximate $90,000 will come from the grant, $300,000 will come from ARPA funds and the rest from the veterans affairs office.
Upon returning from the closed session Boggs requested, a discussion amongst commissioners included possibly hiring Walsh Municipal Services to conduct a candidate search for his position – initially clarifying he was leaving as county coordinator by Dec. 31. Boggs had been under an at-will contract with the county following being hired as the interim coordinator in 2020. In an email after the meeting, Boggs shared he had requested the closed session mostly to talk with the board since he had received a position elsewhere and wanted to “settle the details” of his new contract.
The commissioners agreed to further discussion on the hiring process, but nothing was resolved regarding his replacement.
Both portions of the special meeting can be viewed on Youtube.com.
Though Boggs tenure as county coordinator included the time period involving the Shiawassee County ARPA funds controversy in 2021, Boggs was involved in many county changes, as well.
He shared a list of his accomplishments as county coordinator via email. A few included ending the MERS defined benefit program for all new employees, changing the county health plan and saving over $1 million for the county annually, submitting on-time audits following several years of late audits from predecessors, implementing departmental spending protocols in respect to the budget process, implementing the county workshare program, adding the county to the opioid litigation settlement and many others.