Officials see jail progress
Marion County Commission took a break Tuesday from its regular business meeting to tour the new construction at the jail site.
Commissioners Dan Holub and Randy Dallke walked through the jail with project superintendent Jared Beets of contractor Loyd Builders Inc. of Ottawa, who updated them on construction activity.
“It’s going to be at least a month and a half to two months before the roof is final, but we’re completely water-tight right now,” Beets said.
“We got it on in the good weather, and it was a blessing, because we were really stressing about it,” Beets said. “The two weeks leading up to it, the first was really cold, the next was really wet, and then all of a sudden it was 65 and sunny.”
The first stop on the tour was the front office area, where workers were busy applying sheetrock on walls.
“We have electrical pretty much all done, HVAC is pretty well done through here, and we’re just waiting on them to get one side of sheetrock up to call the inspector for the framing and wall inspection,” Beets said.
Commissioners commented as favorably on the spaciousness of the facility, the utility of the floorplan, and Dallke remarked that it met the “no frills” criteria the commission desired.
Stepping outside the back door to view the garage and driveway area prompted Dallke to comment about a fence to screen the facility from the surrounding area.
“We haven’t gotten to it yet, but I hope we can put up a secure fence. We’ve got to put a fence up, it was part of the agreement with the landowner on this side,” Dallke said. “Besides that, I’d like to cover the area on the north up, too, so that the public can’t see, no matter what comes up.”
Beets said the project is moving along according to timelines.
“We’re doing really well. As far as interior finishes, we’re right on schedule, if not a couple days ahead,” Beets said. “The roof is a non-issue right now — if we had to wait until the last week, we could finish it then. We’re on schedule for all the mechanical. Things are going really well right now.”
“I’ve been running in after working hours, but this was a lot better show,” Holub said.
“It’s coming together on schedule, and we didn’t want anything fancy,” Holub said. “It’s only got interior drywall and cinder block walls. I’m good, I’m comfortable, it’s what I expected.”
“You might want to sit tight in your chairs,” County Clerk Carol Maggard said as she introduced the payments information for January. “It is $1,846,423.”
Maggard explained the large amount was due in part to a $426,000 payment to Loyd Builders for the jail.
“In combination with the things we normally do in January, which is all of our county insurance, workman’s comp, and quarterly payments to mental health and mentally-handicapped, it’s just a naturally big month,” Maggard said.
“We were prepared for that,” Dallke said.
Sales tax revenue for November was $53,286, Maggard said, $409 more than in November 2010.
Collections of the jail tax amounted to $47,682, bringing the total collections to date for the special levy to $186,456.
County Appraiser Cindy Magill met with commissioners to review a petition by the City of Florence to have five pieces of property excluded from the tax rolls. The land surrounds the roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 77 and U.S. 50.
“They weren’t notified these were deeded in their name,” Magill said, which resulted in the city unnecessarily paying property taxes.
“Now the court of tax appeals has application fees, which are outrageous — $400 per property,” Magill said. “In the long run, it’s going to be beneficial for them to apply for the exemption.”
Commissioners agreed to write a letter supporting the waiver of application fees and the exemption.
Transfer station floor problem
Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt appraised commissioners of a growing problem involving the platform floor alongside the waste containers inside the building.
“It’s kind of a serious thing. We’re still in operation, but that lip is falling out quickly,” Schmidt said. “Our fear is that the concrete is going to start giving. Once something like that starts, it keeps going.”
Holub asked if it would be necessary to shut down the facility to make repairs.
“We can probably work something out to do it over a weekend,” Schmidt said.
Commissioners directed Schmidt to investigate potential alternatives and contractors and develop a plan to remedy the situation.
In other business:
- Commissioners approved the purchase of two Hewlett-Packard desktop computers and one display for the county attorney’s office from Great Plains Computers and Networking for a total amount of $1,814.
- Area fuel bids were awarded to Cooperative Grain and Supply for areas 3 and 4 for $11,745, and Cardie Oil for areas 1 and 2 for $9,640. Cooperative Grain and Supply was awarded the transportation fuel bid for $26,302.
- Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford presented a plan to replace 38 culverts along 25.5 miles of county roads scheduled for asphalt overlays. Commissioners initially approved the purchase of the culverts, but then rescinded the approval and instructed Crawford to obtain bids for approval.
The next commission meeting is scheduled for Monday.