JEFFERSON, WIS. – The Jefferson County Board approved the project for two new satellite facilities Tuesday, totaling in $1.5 million of the almost $18 million bond that the city set aside for new construction projects.
These satellite facilities are used for storage of emergency highway traffic patrol vehicles, in hopes to cut down on emergency response times, especially in bad weather situations. The facilities will be built in Lake Mills and Concord. The county is also might consider adding satellite shops in Palmyra and Ixonia in the future.
Jefferson County was the only county to keep its original satellite shops, built in the 1930’s, while other counties built new ones. It is cheaper to build new satellites instead of renovating the old facilities because they are missing many key components the new facilities will have, and the wear and tear on the original buildings is significant.
Highway Commission Bill Kerns’ presentation noted that the new locations would reduce labor during winter season and minimize the overlap of snow plow routes. He also continued to say that the existing satellite shops are out of date and are in “very inefficient spots.”
The Jefferson County Board reduced the initial project cost of the facilities, proposed by the highway and infrastructure committee, from $1.2 million each, to $1.5 million total. The new facilities will be 12,500 square feet each.
The construction of the new main highway shop in Jefferson is 90% completed and hopes are that it will be finished by June. The existing facility is on the river, which is prime property. Once the new highway shop is finished, the old one will be demolished, and the property would be used to create a medical school in Jefferson.
The County Board received three separate 20-year bonds in 2014 for the new construction projects, to save on the cost of interest to the county in hopes of using the saved money on future projects. Expenses for these projects are rising faster than the revenue is coming in so the county is looking to find efficiencies to save money.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
- Approved a memorial resolution for former boardmember Kathleen Groskopf, who passed away in February.
- Proclaimed March 13th as K-9 Veterans Day to honor military and police dogs and their handlers.
- Proclaimed April 2015 as Child Abuse and Neglect Protection Month.
- Approved a $281,467 contract with General Communications to upgrade the public safety radio and dispatch system in the Sheriff’s Department.
- Approved transportation plan covering a 2.7 square mile area along Highway 16 from Oconomowoc (Milwaukee metropolitan area) in an attempt to bring funding to the area.