Commissioners say not all updates were approved; Brule says some things were misinterpreted, and he did some smaller things on his own to make the project better

    The Stenberg Building that houses the Sheriff and Solid Waste Management offices in Fosston was recently renovated and the Polk County Board of Commissioners were informed Tuesday that not all of the updates done by the construction company were approved. There was discussion at the meeting about the final payment to Brule Construction who, according to Polk County Facilities Management’s Mark Dietz, had done some work without prior approval, but was requesting compensation in full. Dietz recommended that of the total amount requested (over $17,000), the board only pay $11,685.

    The county had already paid out $147,000 to Brule Construction for the project.

    “Brule (Construction) charged us for keypad locks, two of them, but we only got one of the two and they were never told to put them in,” explained Dietz. “Before the project ever started, I sent out an email that said any designs have to be approved by Scott Sosalla or myself.”

    “Had everybody adhered to the rules, we would have done good on this project,” he added.

    “If we ever do this again, I think I’ll be more aggressive,” Dietz continued. “There has to be more firm language that there wouldn’t be any changes to the project unless approved by the board or administrator.”

    District 1 Commissioner Jerry Jacobson asked if they were being totally fair to the construction company and Dietz came back saying they have been “very fair” to them being as they did not finish by the first of the year like they had mentioned.

    “We’re essentially taking a position or a stand,” said Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting. “If they want to take us to small claims court, they can.”

    Alan Brule from Brule Construction told the Times Wednesday morning that there was a little misinterpretation on a couple items and some of the smaller things he took it upon himself to do.

    “If they pay me on it, fine. If not, fine,” stated Brule. “I wanted to make it a decent job.”

    In email conversations in April and May with Brule and Sosalla, Brule mentioned some of the items that he felt would have made the project better and some items were marked as “questionable” by Sosalla in a forward to Dietz. Sosalla said in the forwarded email that he would approve $10,130 of the items completed and not accept $6,680. There were $2,330 in items that were questionable, including the keypad locks.