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Local News

Kendall County Board set to seek bids for $500,000 meeting room renovation project

YORKVILLE – The Kendall County Board discussed finer details of a roughly $500,000 board room renovation project with a national engineering company during their June 11 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Craig Clary, project manager of Dewberry Engineers Inc., said the project, which is estimated to cost $508,459 total, would include better desks and work spaces for County Board members, an executive session meeting room, improved designated seating for elected officials and more technology integration within the room.

Clary said those technology improvements for the board room in the county office building, 111 W. Fox St., includes audio-video hook-ups straight from County Board members' or other county officials' seats for presentation purposes and a designated news media table with more audio hook-up capabilities. He said there also would be key card access to the room for elected and other county officials, along with television displays of county business within the room itself and in the county office building to better inform the public and follow Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

"It's an upgrade all the way around," Clary said.

Clary said it's hard to tell what the true total cost of the project will be because of contract work availability. Especially in financially strained times like these, he said, the county has a chance at possibly getting better prices for the project the quicker it can go out to bid.

County Board members agreed with Clary's comments.

"I think time is of the essence with the application," County Board member Judy Gilmour said.

County Board member Matt Kellogg, who also heads the county's finance committee, said $450,000 was budgeted for the project in this year's budget and a little more money can come out of next year's budget. He said the thought also was for the county to hire contractors from the Kendall County area.

"So this keeps people in the community in those trades working," Kellogg said.

Kendall County Administrator Scott Koeppel said the county is trying to apply for a Rebuild Illinois stimulus grant that would cover the full cost of the project if approved.

Koeppel said the proposal will go for a County Board vote once the county gets bid results back for the project. He said he's anticipating that being at least about a month out from now.

Koeppel said the project has not gone out to bid just yet. He said the county is wrapping up some final details, including those related to engineering with Dewberry and ironing out the related legalese for the bid.

Koeppel said the COVID-19 pandemic also might throw a wrench in the works, since that might limit walk-throughs that are typical for a bid related to a project like this.

"So that's the thing we're still having internal discussions about," Koeppel said.

County officials previously said the board room furniture hasn't changed for decades.

Koeppel said the project and its associated technological upgrades will ultimately help with accessibility and transparency between the county and the public.

"It's a long overdue project," Koeppel said.

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