October 27, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

I attended the October 27, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

All commissioners were present. And then some.

The meeting was held in the jury room of the Justice Center, so once again, I had to take my meeting notes with pen and paper. Poor Gadfly. No phones are allowed in the Justice Center unless you’re an employee.

There were approximately a dozen people present besides the usual Camden County employees. Representatives from the Horseshoe Bend and Osage Beach Special Road Districts also attended the meeting.

I am going to warn you, dear Readers, that this meeting got a bit hectic at times, but I tried my best to keep track of what was going on.

The first agenda item was Veregy. Veregy is the construction firm that is renovating the Camden County courthouse and the Commission Annex building. The renovation is projected to cost Camden County $4.7 million.

The Veregy representative, Jason Trickey (I swear I’m not making this name up), submitted a proposal to the Commission for the construction of an ADA-compliant bathroom on the 2nd floor of the courthouse. Trickey said that making this change would cost $55,000 and take away an existing office. Even then, it wouldn’t qualify as an ADA-compliant bathroom because the hallway leading to it would be too narrow to qualify as an ADA hallway.

Jennie Wall was in the audience and she asked Trickey if there was a breakdown for materials and labor. He responded that he could get that information.

Trickey presented the energy savings information for the LED upgrades and the new HVAC units to the Commission. Commissioner Hasty asked how the project schedule was progressing.

According to Trickey, the Annex building’s basement will be painted next week. The flooring for the whole project is in the warehouse and ready to install. There have been some delays on the courthouse due to “unforeseen” issues that Veregy is taking care of. In the courthouse itself, they will start repairing and painting the corridors next week.

Veregy is having a hard time finding local contractors to help with the “civil work”: excavating, junk removal, storm sewers, and asphalt. Everybody is just too busy. Welcome to the lake.

Jennie Wall asked if Trickey could provide a “percent complete” for the whole project.

He responded that he could “ballpark it” and he said he hadn’t even mentioned the exterior work (roofing and tuckpointing.)

Wall stated it would be great if Veregy could reconcile the reported progress on the project with the way the project was being invoiced. This would allow people to compare the way the money is being paid and the way the work is being invoiced with the progress on the project at certain work locations. Currently, the invoices are based on type of work rather than work locations.

Trickey said he could report the progress based on work locations. Jennie Wall said that would be helpful because it would make it much easier to compare the money spent at locations with the work progress at those same locations.

Brian Willey (the individual contracted by Camden County to oversee the project for them) added that there have been a lot of “unforeseens” that have come up during the project. Plumbing problems is one example of an unforeseen issue that they have been encountering.

Jennie Wall said that by defining what’s complete based on the scope of work in the contract, you would exclude those issues you don’t know about yet. She stated she is a PMP (Project Management Professional) and she would like to see an EVA (Earned Value Analysis) for this project, but nobody has been able to show her one.

Brian Willey explained that he goes over the billing with Veregy at various “Pay At” marks. They then walk the project together and try to come to an agreement on what has been completed. There are 11 line items on the project so far. Roofing has not started. Willey and the County Auditor calculate and track the percentages on those line items. Willey felt that it was impossible to track an overall percentage of the project due to the unforeseen issues that keep cropping up and the scope of work changing daily.

Jennie Wall told Willey that was completely off from the industry standard.

Presiding Commissioner Hasty then erupted at Wall, yelling, “No it’s not! You’re wrong! I’m tired of listening to this bull crap!”

Jennie Wall calmly responded, “Greg, there’s no reason for anger.”

Hasty retorted, “You’re getting ready to be put out of here! I’m tired of listening to this bull crap! I’ve been doing these projects like this all my life. There’s no way for him to keep track of a project like that and I’m done talking about it!”

I can’t imagine what the Veregy representative must have thought about how this meeting was going, but he did manage to say that he also is a PMP and in his experience, EVA are used more for industrial-type projects. He didn’t feel EVA should be used for construction projects because there are so many moving parts.

Greg Hasty might have been done talking about it, but Jennie sure wasn’t.

She responded that many people would find it hard to believe that for over $4.7 million, nobody involved in the project knows where we are on it and the citizens just have to trust them until they’re done. Wall felt that there was more reporting that could be done that would be helpful to the public.

Trickey said he does daily reporting on the project.

Wall said she didn’t think that an EVA would be foreign to Veregy. Trickey responded that Veregy doesn’t track projects that way.

Greg Hasty then stated that they were done with this. I assumed he was talking about this discussion.

Brian Willey offered that the project is at 50% with electrical and 20% with woods and plastics. They keep track of percentages, but those numbers can change because the “work needed” can change.

Commissioner Williams opined that since the building is 100 years old, the work might change every day since you never know what you’re going to get into on each day of the job. He said he appreciated Jennie Wall’s efforts to keep an eye on the money. Greg Hasty did not second Williams’ opinion.

During discussion of the original Veregy proposal (remember the bathroom?), the commissioners pointed out that there were already plans to convert the restrooms on the 1st and 3rd floors into ADA-compliant rooms. They didn’t want to lose office space and they felt the cost was too high so they voted unanimously to decline the proposal to add the ADA-compliant 2nd floor restroom.

At this point, I felt like my writing hand was about to fall off. I was tempted to start yelling that it was bull crap that we couldn’t have our phones in the meeting, but I felt like I couldn’t get the crowd support behind me on this important issue.

The second agenda item was a Request for Surplus Funds. Charlie McElyea said he needed more time to review some issues so the Commission voted unanimously to table it.

The third agenda item was Forensic Bid Acceptance. The special road districts wanted the commission to accept the bid from MDD. This was the lower bid. The commission voted unanimously to accept MDD’s bid to conduct the forensic audit of Camden County.

I think I might have called them MDB in my last article, but I don’t hear so well. My ears often thank me for my service.

There was a closed session item on the agenda, but Commissioner Hasty said they were not going to have that closed session. I think after this meeting, everyone just needed to go outside and smoke a cigarette.

And that was that.

2 thoughts on “October 27, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

  1. Thank YOU for your service. We would not know this if you hadn’t been blogging about it so consistently. And Thank you Jennie Wall!!


  2. Thank you so much for all your reports to keep us enlightened. You are doing a great job! Who made the rule on phones ? Can it be overturned? I will back you! ________________________________


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