By Bethe Croy
The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved the construction of two new satellite facilities in Lake Mills and Concord during their meeting last Tuesday, March 10.
The county previously had five satellite facilities in Waterloo, Lake Mills, Ixonia, Concord and Palmyra, which are used for emergency weather response and maintenance equipment.
The new facilities would reduce critical response time and overall public safety due to better and more accessible locations. Furthermore, these facilities are overdue for updating and are in poor condition, Highway Commissioner Bill Kern said.
The cost two 12,500 square-foot facilities, previously not to exceed $590,000 per location, was amended to not more than $500,000 per facility.
Some board supervisors were unsure whether the cost was worth the benefits, however, especially considering the county already has the other locations.
“They may not be perfect, they may not be big enough, but they function,” Supervisor Carlton Zentner said.
Supervisor Amy Rinard also questioned why two new sites were needed when the county already had the others, but Kern explained that the positioning of the current locations is what lowers response time.
Supervisor Dick Schultz also pointed out that the county could save up to $1.4 million simply because of the better locations for the new satellite facilities as well as using less fuel.
Despite the controversy, the board ended up voting in favor of the satellite locations with 25-yes, 4-no and 1-absent votes.
In other news, the new highway shop is about 90 percent completed, Supervisor George Jaeckel said.
The board approved issuing $3.98 million in general obligation bonds, down from $4.39 million in order to fund the last portion of the project.
In other business Tuesday, the board:
- Approved an agreement with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to represent Jefferson County concerning planning and discussion of regional transportation, particularly to the segment of Jefferson County located in the “Milwaukee urbanized area.”
- Approved spending for new public safety radio and dispatch equipment for the Sheriff’s Office.
The old equipment has “exceeded its life expectancy,” Jefferson County Administrator Ben Wehmeier said.
The new communication system will cost $281,467, $162,460 of which will be funded through a carryover from the Sheriff’s Office department budget last year. The remaining cost, $119,007, will be paid for with contingency funds.
- Extended sympathy to the family of Kathleen Groskopf in memory of her and her work with the county.
- Proclaimed March 13, 2015 as K-9 Veteran’s Day in honor and support of military and police dogs.
- Proclaimed the month of April 2015 as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.