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County Mulls Closing East Country Club Road

KSAL StaffFebruary 2, 2016

Frustrated by a lack of progress in repairing a railroad crossing at the 3300 block of East County Club Road, Saline County Commissioners instructed County Counselor Mike Montoya to notify the Union Pacific Railroad, Scoular Grain, and Exline. A series of complaints last August prompted the County to reduce the speed and place road hazard signs. Today, Commissioners spoke of the possibility of closing the road, as an alternative.

Going Out to Bid to Remodel Road & Bridge Shop

County Commissioners directed Road & Bridge Director Gary Nash to get bids to make a “bare minimum” set of improvements to the Road & Bridge Shop, located at 3424 Airport Road. Nash is tasked with obtaining bids for planned sewer, plumbing, electrical, construction and doors—either to be bid individually or in any combination, as a project. Once bids are obtained, Commissioners will review them and then vote on whether to proceed with making improvements.

Since December, Commissioners Jim Gile and John Price have worked with Nash and County Engineer Neil Cable to develop both a “bare minimum” and “full remodel” budget for remodeling the shop. They worked with Brandon Hughes of Harbin Construction, L.L.C. and Tom Perez, of Precision Electric, to help define the scope and sequence of work. In full disclosure, Harbin Construction works with Commissioner Luci Larson’s husband.

On Harbin Construction letterhead, an unsigned “bare minimum budget” identifies seventeen items, with a budget of $316,386. Of this, Precision Electric estimates $46,340 would need to be budgeted for:
• Providing a new electrical service entrance.
• Replacing building lighting T8s.
• Providing emergency exit lighting, including lighted exit signs and lighted exits/entrances.

Other “bare minimum” improvements include:
• Replacing the existing women’s restroom with a uni-sex ADA compliant restroom.
• Eliminating the wall-to-ceiling gap in the men’s restroom.
• Building a new double-door ADA-compliant entrance/extension into facility.
• Removing the south door in the staff’s break room.
• Addressing issues with the chain saw room’s overhead doors.
• Replacing all overhead doors and openers (with the exception of the wash bay); this includes removing cinder blocks to allow for the widest and tallest doors possible (to make it easier to bring the largest equipment into the shop).
• Installing a vehicle exhaust ventilation system for three bays.
• Removing and replacing all steel problematic entrance doors and frames.
• Fixing (welding, reskinning) the wash bay’s west and south walls.
• Insulating and heating the shop’s bathroom.
• Painting whatever needs painted after being fixed, skinned or blocked.
• Providing handicapped parking spots near new ADA compliant entrance.
• Material abatement allowance for VAT (or glue).
This does not include doing any work to existing structural building components of the east addition.

Upon touring the building last week, Commissioners asked that the following be added to the “bare minimum” budget:
• “Re-fixing” roof by removing mechanical ventilation equipment from the 1950s that is causing leaks.
• Taking water and sewer lines from the facility to the street (and deleting the lift pump) or plumbing in a proper lift system that would meet codes.
• Removing tiles and polishing the floors in certain parts of the building.

These estimates do not include any utility company charges or fees. Nor do they include architectural or engineering design fees.

Discussions seemed to bog down on whether replacing windows and installing sheet rock should be included in the “bare minimum bid”. These items, like other items on a long list of improvements, may have to wait for another time.

Sherriff’s Office to Restructure

County Commissioners approved Sheriff Glen Kochanowski’s plan to restructure the Sheriff’s Office. Kochanowski said his plan will add one new employee to the Jail, which will come about from not filling one administrative captain’s position. This new lieutenant’s position will give the jail two lieutenants. A lieutenant will work an expanded day (from 8 AM – 8 PM, instead of from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM).

Kochanowski said that most of the problems the jail experiences with inmates occur between 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM, when the jail has fewer staff on duty. “Lights out” is at 10:00 PM.

The Sheriff, who isn’t running for re-election, hinted he may name an undersheriff after the primary.

Commission to Proceed with Salary Survey

Commissioners signed an $11,000+ contract with Archer Corporation, to conduct a salary survey. Human Resources Director Marilyn Leamer said it had been ten years since a salary survey had been conducted. The survey will include every position. In a 3-2 vote, Gile and Price dissented. Later, at the Public Forum, Price said commissioners are able to make salary decisions without spending money on the survey.

Commissioners also:
• Approved spending $21,316 with Eagle Software to update the County’s data back-up systems.
• Approved spending $14,655 to purchase ten portable radios for the Sheriff’s Office; these will replace some radios that date to 2000 and 2003.
• Expressed interest in reappointing the County Coroner; his four year contract is coming to an end.
• Appointed Tracy Wiegart to serve on the Solid Waste Management Committee.
• Decided to proceed with re-appointing Darrell Wilson and Christine Ritter to the 28th Judicial District as non-lawyer representatives.
• Proclaimed February 2016 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
• Approved advertising for a receptionist at the Health Department.

Story by: Karen Shade for KSAL News

Copyright © Alpha Media, 2016.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this story or website may be reproduced without Alpha Media’s express consent.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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