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Shoop to retain authority over change orders

August 08, 1997

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

County Administrator Rodney Shoop will retain his authority to approve change orders on county projects without coming to the Washington County Commissioners in most circumstances.

Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers questioned why Shoop was allowed to approve large change orders without obtaining approval. Shoop said he's had the authority for a couple of years to approve change orders unless they exceed the budget for a particular project.

Bowers asked Shoop if a contract bid came in $200,000 under budget, would Shoop be allowed to approve $200,000 in change orders without coming to the county.

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Shoop said he could.

Bowers and Commissioner John S. Shank said contractors might be submitting low bids and then charging for a lot of change orders, costing the county more in the long run.

"It's not that we don't trust you, we just want a little insurance," Shank told Shoop.

But Shoop said the system was working well and that most projects were coming in under budget.

Shoop said he doesn't approve change orders lightly and said having every change order approved would be less efficient.

Commissioner James R. Wade said he was happy with the status quo.

"I don't want to get mired into daily decisions on change orders," he said. "I didn't get elected to make decisions on a $50,000 change order on a road project."

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