March 17th, 2015
Highway and Infrastructure committees had an initial proposal of $1.2 million, but the county staff was able to reduce costs.
Jefferson County budgeted $17.89 million in general obligation bonds in 2014 to fund the construction of the new main facility. Of the $17.89 million, $750,000 was was budgeted for each satellite shops, making a total of 1.5 million.
Approval of the project consists of two 12,500-square-foot facilities, costing $500,000.
Previously, the county supervisors deemed it necessary to issue $3.5 million in general obligation bonds to fund the project. Country Board of Supervisors issued that the amount does not exceed $4.39 million. On Tuesday, it was authorized that $3.98 million in general obligation bonds would be the set cost to fund the project.
These satellite shops are used for storing emergency highway traffic control devices. New facilities are being built in order to reduce critical response time during winter emergencies and snowstorms.
Highway Commissioner Bill Kern explained that the new locations would reduce manpower required for winter maintenance and minimizes overlapping of current snowplow routes.
Supervisor Amy Rinard questioned why the county is in need of two new satellite facilities when there already are four.
Kern stated, “The existing sites, based on where they were placed many years ago, are in very inefficient spots.”
Kern explained how the current facilities are inconvenient locations and how they are missing key factors that the new facilities will have. Reduction in critical response time is the main reason for the new facilities to be built.
Supervisor John Kannard brought up a concern about cost. Kannard stated, “In 50 years, we wouldn’t break even.”
Supervisor Carlton Zentner agreed with Kannard. Zentner stated how the costs associated with borrowing money outweighed the potential for cost savings.
Those in favor of the project included George Jaeckel, Greg David, Walt Christensen, Mike Kelly and Ron Buchanan.
Kelly and Jaeckel commented on the benefit of having a reduced response time in an emergency that could save someone’s life outweigh many of the cost factors.
David reminded the board how the cost of the two satellite facilities was significantly scaled back from the initial price of $1.5 million per site.
Construction on the new main highway shop in Jefferson is 90% complete. Supervisor Jaeckel stated that the project has some minor check offs remaining and will be done by the end of March. The facilities will begin to be moved into the first week of April.
The old highway shop in Jefferson has yet to be determined for demolition or remodeling. The county might sell or demolish all previous buildings and sell the land. The only location that will remain will be the Concord location.
In other discussions during Tuesday’s meeting:
•Transportation planning agreement authorized in the portion of Jefferson County including the Milwaukee urbanized area.
•Approval of new radio equipment to have 911 systems replaced and converted from analog to digital.
•Memorial for former county board supervisor Kathleen Grosskoff.
•Proclamation of K-9 Veterans Day for March 13.
•Proclamation of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month to be in April.