Commissioners look to save on remodel project

Action on county health department delayed

Jack Stewart (left) and Marc Hader (right)

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

EL RENO – Looking to save money, Canadian County Commissioners postponed action Monday on a request to hire a contractor for a health department remodel project.
Canadian County Health Department officials recommended awarding the project to a Canadian County contractor that submitted a $6,893 quote, citing the company’s location and quality of work based on three previous remodels at the health department.

However, this contractor’s quote was $1,422 higher than the lowest – which came from an Oklahoma County company. Three quotes were submitted for the small remodel project, ranging from $5,471 to $7,239.

District 3 Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart (left) with District 3 grader operator Lonnie Lock, who was using a grid roller to compact the road base on Fort Reno Road in preparation for “chip seal” upgrades to 18-1/4 miles on rural roads in western Canadian County. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

County health department officials plan to remodel a break room/conference room at its Yukon clinic, 1023 E Vandament. The project will include installing a new wall and door.
Commissioners hesitated with awarding the project to the company with the second lowest price.

“I’m not totally comfortable because the work they’re going to do is not that complicated,” District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart said.

Stewart could understand if the lowest quote came from a company in “some far-off distant place.”

County Commission Chairman Marc Hader also wondered why the project shouldn’t be awarded to the company offering the lowest cost. He’s seeking stronger justification.

“I would have a greater comfort level if you had a bad experience,” Hader said. “I’m always a fan of using as local as possible, but I don’t know if there’s a reason to go away from the low bid on this one.


“I do feel more comfortable going with the low bid on this.”

Commissioners agreed to table action after Commissioners Stewart asked county health department officials to “check references” on the company with the lowest quote.

COVID-19 procedures have prompted Canadian County Health Department officials to rearrange spaces in both Yukon and El Reno clinics.

The remodeling project will be paid from funds generated for the health department through a Canadian County mill levy, District 2 Commissioner David Anderson said.

“They have historically paid for improvements to their buildings with their county dollars that we collect on their behalf,” Anderson explained.

Three quotes were required since this remodeling project will cost more than $5,000.