Price of Bay fire station keeps climbing

The Bay St. Louis City Council approved another raft of price increases this week for the new Main Street Fire Station, hiking the cost of the project to more than $4.7 million.

With little discussion, council members vote 6-1 to approve $10,805.95 in extra costs for the project. The money comes from federal funds.

When added to previous change orders, the action raised the fire station cost from an original level of $4.51 million to more than $4.72 million, according to change order documents. The council had already approve additional costs of nearly $202,000 on the project.

One of those previous increases to cover costs of new generator had already been approved, but was re-approved this week because of an accounting change.

All the price increases were requested by architect Allison Anderson, who designed the fire station.

Councilman Joey Boudin cast the lone vote against the $10,000-plus increases. Council members Bobby Compretta, Jeff Reed, Ray Kidd, Doug Seal, Wendy McDonald and Bill Taylor voted in favor.

Boudin objected to the increases because he said change orders all too often come for items that should be included in original project designs, but were overlooked in the beginning.

“Instead of a change order, we should call it a ‘forgot order,'” he said.

Items in the latest price increases included:

• Furnishing and installing new smoke detectors in two rooms at the station.

• Mechanical changes, including installation of supply and return ducts to a bathroom and an office.

• Adding outside air to first and second-floor units.

• Adding a dryer vent.

• Changing a recently-built structural steel frame outside the building. That included buying 60 feet of additional steel to raise the entire frame, as well as removing paint off the existing new steel, re-fabrication of steel, and adding new paint.

Boudin told other council members that architects, engineers, and others who overlook designing or installing necessary portions of projects should be forced to pay the cost from their insurance, or pay for change orders from their own pockets.

“I think errors and omissions insurance should kick in, or they should have to eat them,” he said.

Other council members did not reply to that suggestion before voting through the increases.

BY: J.R. Welsh

The Sea Coast Echo

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