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County locks in jail architect fee
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Upland Design Group has set its fee at 6 percent to be Warren County government’s architect for the $7 million proposed jail expansion project.
“They’ve given me a fee of 6 percent to cover their part, except the items we always take out that I will read to you,” said County Executive Herschel Wells during a county Financial Management Committee meeting. “The reason we take them out is to keep them from putting them in the bid and the contractor putting a profit overhead and a bond on it.”
Items removed from the contract: surveying, testing of welding, concrete floors and footings, fire marshal inspection, subsurface investigation, and building commissioning. Those items will be paid for by the county.
Wells said the county is required to hire a certified engineer to perform a variety of inspections, also called building commissioning, during construction to ensure the quality of materials and workmanship and to make sure the building is being constructed as designed.
“Commissioning is a new item,” said Wells. “They had a problem somewhere and now this is required. They are having to do it with the new jail in Van Buren County. It means we will have three people inspecting footings – the fire marshal, the architect and this guy. I think they require it just on jails. They had a bad experience in West Tennessee, I think.” 
The actual cost for a certified engineer is unknown at this time, but Wells estimates the cost will likely be between $10,000 and $15,000.
Committee members unanimously approved the request of 6 percent by Upland Design Group on Monday.