ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
The Marion County Commission Monday heard some approximate figures on what a new jail might cost and also approved a change order on a road-surfacing contract that took off $200,000 on nearly 20 miles of roads.
Dan Hall of BG Consultants, Manhattan, told commissioners the approximate cost of building a 72-bed law enforcement center would be $8,357,918 “in 2005 dollars.” He called it a “baseboard estimate” to help with planning.
Hall said translating the same dollars into a 2006 price, taking such things as hurricane-induced shortage of plyboard into consideration, would change the estimate to $9,298,845.
Neither price included acquisition of a building site, he said.
Changing the jail to a 48-bed facility would lower the price tag by $850,000 to $950,000.
Salary costs for such a facility might run to $68,000 a month for an estimated 29 employees, he said.
Costs and income for the jail would vary according to the number of inmates housed and where they came from in the plan where Marion County would be paid to house inmates from other counties, Hall said.
County Clerk Carol Maggard said a bond representative will come talk to commissioners on financing of a jail at no cost to the county.
The surfacing contract with Schilling Construction for a $1,579,673 bid price was approved by commissioners 3-0, but with a change order also approved 3-0, the price was changed to $1,355,002.95.
Consulting Engineer Mike Olson, Ellsworth, explained that the change in price to come closer to anticipated county financing was achieved by reducing the amount of road oil that will be needed.
He said the new surface on 14.5 miles of 290th (the Durham-Lincolnville Road) was reduced a quarter-inch from 2.0 inches to 1.75 inches for part of the reduction. Surfacing on five miles of Old Mill Road was to remain at 2.0 inches.
The rest of the saved oil, Olson said, came from reducing standard over-estimates, part of which usually are used to offset uneveness in the road surface.
Olson said the important thing for the county is that the roads are being surfaced soon enough to save them from untimely deterioration.
Olson, noting to the commissioners that bidding had been delayed to mid-September because of the changing situation, asked that the late start date be changed from Oct. 3 to Oct. 10 to be fair to the contractor.
The commissioners approved this while retaining terms that called for the work to be completed in 25 working days.
The commissioners approved pursuing a Heritage Trust Fund grant providing 80 percent of cost with total cost likely $100,000 to $110,000 for repair and replacement of courthouse windows while maintaining historical authenticity.
Hall would pursue the grant administered through the Kansas Historical Society at a charge of $3,000 with possible award next March.
He said Marion County has received the grant twice for repair of the courthouse clock tower and masonry repointing and repair of the building. Funds for the grant come through county deeds office receipts throughout the state.
Hall said the grant only allows for windows to be repaired and restored to the original condition.
This concerned commissioners that the standards of 100 years ago might not suffice for today’s energy concerns.
Chairman Bob Hein said he thought the commission should get the application in anyway, and the other commissioners concurred.
Olson gave the commissioners the draft of a letter to the Kansas Department of Transportation asking that KDOT reimburse the county for further detour roads deterioration during the rebuilding of U.S. Highway 77.
Commissioner Dan Holub asked that the letter be changed to specifics about road shoulders deterioration and the driving of culverts further into the ground from heavy truck traffic to avoid a situation in which the state concludes that reimbursement for gravel is sufficient.
Holub noted that something will need to be done for the stone bridge west of the former Kingfisher’s Inn on the lake road because heavy semi-trucks are contributing to its deterioration.
Hein said he wanted to talk face to face with a KDOT representative to make sure county concerns are not just being “passed off.”
David Brazil, director of the transfer station, environmental health and planning and zoning, reported application of a sealant coat to the walls of the transfer station is in progress.
Noreen Weems, director of the department of the elderly, said mill-levy requests have been approved for $287.72 in roof repair materials at the Ramona Senior center, and $500 to help on $1,500 in insurance costs at the Goessel Senior Center.
Weems said tickets are being sold by senior center members for the 45th annual meeting of her department Oct. 20. About 40 members attended the Senior Fair Sept. 20 in Salina, she said.
She expects flu vaccine to be available Nov. 1.
The commissioners approved the final payment amount of $211,845 for the revised engineering contract on closing the old landfill southwest of Marion.
They approved an agreement between the county health department and the Marion County Special Education Cooperative to provide testing, screening and nurse support.
They approved transfer of $100,000 in road and bridge funds to pay a motor grader lease.