Buildings top county agenda

News editor

County commissioners focused on future county building needs Monday as commissioners worked with certified public accountant Scot Loyd on the budget proposal for 2014.

Proposed buildings included a multipurpose office building, a new metal building for the road and bridge department, and a new transfer station.

“That’s what I see in our immediate future, besides what can happen to the courthouse,” commissioner Randy Dallke said.

In addition to air-conditioning and heating upgrades and window replacement, the courthouse needs more exterior repairs.

“Another item that’s lurking out there that we don’t know who to believe, there’s tuckpointing on this building that’s needed, and the figure on that was $600,000, or in that neighborhood,” Dallke said.

“That’s just the upper part,” commissioner Roger Fleming said.

Commissioners expressed opinions that wherever possible, funds should come from department budgets to pay for building expenses.

“Do you feel the road and bridge fund can support three years in a row of $150,000 or a maximum of $200,000 a year to put back into the road and bridge fund for their own building?” Dalke asked.

“That’s the way I suggested to the supervisor, ‘I don’t want to take out of the general fund for a building for you,’” he said.

“They need to budget to save up for what a new building would cost,” Fleming said.

No specific plans have been developed for the building, which made choosing a savings target difficult.

“I don’t even know what number to throw out,” Fleming said.

Dallke said saving $200,000 per year would be a good start, and budgets could be adjusted when plans are developed.

“If we get two years saved back, I’d be interested in entertaining plans for the third year,” he said.

Commissioner Dan Holub said a metal building could be modified after the initial build.

“Do you want $750,000 to be your goal?” Loyd asked.

“$750,000 with a big question mark,” Fleming said.

Dallke said the loan payment amount for the transfer station would be a good starting point for saving funds.

“What was our payment, $112,000? I’d like to see at least that,” he said. “It’s not going to be less than a million; start from there until we get a better figure.”

“You may not be able to set aside enough to actually do that,” Loyd said. “You may have to set aside a downpayment.”

Commissioners settled on a goal of $1.5 million for a general building fund to supplement needs not directly funding through individual department budgets. Annual contributions of $300,000 per year for three years would be added to existing carry-over funds to reach the target.

Clerk Tina Spencer and Loyd were directed by commissioners to continue work on the budget, keeping it within current mill levies. The refined proposal will be presented at the commission meeting Thursday.

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