Fulton animal shelter project delayed when bid exceeds estimate

City considers restructuring plan or taking over project to complete in phases

A technician with the City of Fulton overlooks the progress on the new animal shelter Wednesday afternoon.

A technician with the City of Fulton overlooks the progress on the new animal shelter Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

Fulton’s new animal shelter is well underway after a successful fundraising campaign, but Director of Administration Bill Johnson told the City Council Tuesday that Fulton rejected the single bid it received on completing the structure.

“It was a lot more expensive,” Johnson said, noting the remainder of the project was originally estimated at $179,000. “Like think significantly more expensive, and then double that.”

Though the concrete foundation and plumbing are largely completed, this delays finishing the building while city officials determine how best to construct the physical building.

City Engineer Greg Hayes said the city is considering two options: re-evaluating its project plan and resubmitting it for a hopefully more competitive bid, or taking the project on itself as the general contractor and sub-contracting the building in phases.

Johnson said the city should decide which option it plans to pursue in the next six to eight weeks.

“Though the general contractor is responsible for the entire project, they have a 10 to 15 percent markup tacked onto the job,” Hayes said. “You’re paying for his insurance and liability, all that. Taking the job on ourselves allows us to subcontract and complete the job (in phases as funding or donations are available).”

Hayes said he and his department are evaluating the cost of the original plan and working with the bidder on identifying which elements lead to the steep increase over the projected cost. Johnson added that the project did not need to be complete before the city could move in and operate the facility as a shelter.

“We don’t need a nursery, a lab, the bonding room where someone can go to play with the animal,” Johnson said. “We need pens, the kennel area, a partial office complex. The building doesn’t need to be completed per our original design to be functional.”

The city of Fulton raised $250,000 in donations and pledges to build the new animal shelter facility off of Industrial Drive. A much larger and more modern facility, it will replace the current city-operated Garrett Animal Shelter, which was originally a city pool building and was implemented as a “temporary solution” 20 years ago.

Though the project is delayed, Johnson said the city had yet to designate a goal for its completion date.

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