Union County to get new Highway Dept. storage shed

Posted August 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

Union County commissioners have been setting aside Capital Accumulation funds for a new highway building to replace the old quonset building at their Elk Point location.

In 2013, they hired an engineer and an architect to create a Master Plan for the county-owned parcel near Load King.

The Master Plan was for a 110’ x 200’ facility which would have included several truck bays, a wash bay, Highway Department offices, and storage areas for Public Works. The thought was to build it so it could be used as an Emergency Management Command Center in disasters.

In March 2014, that board of commissioners agreed to budget $1.2 million for the Phase I of this Master Plan, which was estimated to cost $1.1 million. Phase I was to be for either four truck bays or three truck bays and a wash bay.

At the time, there was $650,000 set aside for this facility and the commissioners planned to borrow their maximum, $500,000.

Back then they had been setting aside $75,000 annually for this building.

In 2015, the commissioners began setting aside $125,000 for this project.

However, with the retirement of Public Works Director Raymond Roggow in 2016, the commissioners began talking about scrapping that Master Plan and just going back to the original idea of replacing the quonset storage building at the Elk Point’s main shop.

Recently, the commissioners hired a construction site manager to oversee the building of this storage facility. Todd Larson has been working with Union County Highway Superintendent Paul Limoges for several months.

An engineering estimate showed the new building plan would only cost about $822,000 for construction.

At the Commission’s June 20 meeting, they unanimously approved entering into contracts with several contractors to build this building: Midwest Concrete and Redi-Mix, James Steel, and Kalins Indoor Comfort. The motion also included entering contracts with Pollman Excavating and Todd’s Electric, pending on the receipt of their contracts.

Auditor Carol Klumper pointed out the commissioners wouldn’t need to set aside the annual $125,000 for this building project this year.

She reported the Capital Accumulation Fund had a balance of $708,258.64 and another $76,845.24 was in cash in the Capital Projects Fund. Furthermore, there was also $400,000 assigned to this highway building project. Without even transferring the $125,000 for this current fiscal year, the total set aside to date was $1,185,103.88.

The commissioners’ consensus wants to consider transferring the ending balance after this building project to a “Building Repair Fund” to meet ongoing maintenance and improvements needed in county-owned buildings, which includes the fairgrounds’ buildings, highway department buildings and courthouse and jail.

Klumper pointed out they would need to do a new resolution authorizing that. As to whether the remaining funds could go directly into a Building Improvement Fund or back into the General Fund was not known.

The commissioners also have two other Capital Accumulation Funds:

• Bridge Repairs and Replacements, which had a balance of $463,178.15. Annually, $50,000 is set aside in this fund.

• 911 Equipment Fund, $150,000. This is the first year for this set aside fund and it is for purchasing 911 communications console equipment. A second $150,000 will be set aside next year to pay this $300,000 bill.

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