Keeping tax in place could fund needed projects
After hitting a brick wall in their efforts to purchase the former Straub building to resolve problems with the county transfer station and recycling center, and the weed and hazardous waste facility, county commissioners are turning their attention to alternative solutions.
One of those might be to extend an existing sales tax, set to expire in 2018, imposed for the cost of building a jail.
Voters would have to approve a new sales tax for that purpose before it could be done. The idea of a new sales tax to replace the old one was discussed in a Monday work meeting for commissioners.
The tax raised $585,161 in 2016. According to a report on future capital improvement projects prepared by George K. Baum and Company, a replacement sales tax would raise money to make bond payments for a number of capital improvement projects. Building a transfer station and recycling center, and relocating the weed and household hazardous waste facility are among the list included.
The current transfer station and recycling center has serious issues.
“This building is falling apart,” department head Bud Druse said.
The floor between the drive-through dumping area and the basement storage area has deteriorated about two inches in depth and now has a jagged, crumbling edge along the drop-off area of the slab. Rebar can be seen poking out the sides.
“The floor is on the verge,” Druse said. “It gets worse all the time. Not being a concrete person, I can’t say how much longer it will hold up.”
The ceiling leaks, causing water to filter down through the floor and settle into the waste and recycle materials, which causes a foul odor.
“We do a good job of keeping it clean,” Druse said.
The floor in front of the building’s east bay door has deteriorated completely through and the holes in the concrete floor are covered with metal panels. “We know something needs to be done; the question is how to get it done and how to pay for it,” Druse said. “I don’t know how bad it is, it could stand another 20 years or it could be gone tomorrow. The way it’s deteriorating, I don’t think it’s going to last 20 years.”
Druse said he’s looked at some preliminary estimates of work that could be done. Those estimates have not yet been shared with county commissioners, but he said they range from $1.5 million for an addition and repairs to the existing transfer station to $5 million to simply build new.