Jefferson County Board Story
The Jefferson County Board meeting was held last week and the discussion focused on purchasing new satellite shops for the county with hopes of reducing snow plow overlap during the winter season. These shops will be used to house salt and other snow plowing equipment during the winter season.
Currently the county has a plan in place to spend $875,000 to build a new satellite shop and salt shed.
According to the council the Jefferson satellite shops already in existence was built in the 1970’s and when other satellite shops around the state were being refurbished, the ones in Jefferson County were not. This has made the current satellite shops irreparable and therefore they must completely rebuilt.
For these repairs the city currently has a $4 million bond that could be expanded to as much as $17 million. Then $15 million of that would be used for building, reparations and the development of a salt shed among other things. Highway Commissioner William Kern said many other counties around the state have updated satellite shops.
“As you go around the state you’re going to see that a vast majority of counties have satellite shops,” Kern said. “They developed them many years ago and the primary reason, that you’ll see is winter response and emergency response.”
Winter and emergency response basically means that when there is a snowstorm in the middle of the night, Jefferson county could plow the snow before work the next day or, if an accident were to occur, they would be able to get there quickly to help.
Another benefit of these satellite shops would be improved efficiency for the snow plows who often come from far away and have to travel over roads already plowed in order to get to their own routes. These additional shops will help prevent that overlap.
If they were to build these new satellite shops versus repairing the old, it would save the county more money over a longer period of time.
According to Kern, the existing satellite shops are “in very inefficient spots” and would be better suited to help in the community in new locations.
Supervisor Amy Rinard however, questioned whether or not adding two new satellite shops was really the most efficient way to spend the county’s money when it already had four existing ones.
Others who weighed in on the conversation were Mike Kelly and George Jaeckel who voiced their opinions that sometimes you cannot put a price on safety and that possibly saving someone’s life outweighs all other costs.
The final item on the agenda was the discussion of the new main highway shop being 90 percent complete and barring some minor details will be completed by the end of March. The old highway shop will either be sold or demolished based on what may be most profitable to the county.
Other important points of the county board meeting are as follows:
• City Coroner wants to hire four more people in order to help cover the amount of work needing to be done.
• April of 2015 will be known as Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness month
• Approval of new radio equipment to have 911 systems updated or replaced
• K-9 Veterans Day will be March 13