JEFFERSON-The County Board of Supervisors approved construction Tuesday of two new satellite facilities in Lake Mills and Concord.
An initial proposal of $1.2 million by Highway and Infrastructure committees was reduced significantly.
The county’s 2014 budget included $17.89 million in general obligation bonds to fund construction of the new main facility. Of that total, $1.5 million was budgeted for the satellite shops, roughly $750,000 per site.
In the new 2015 approved project the two facilities are 12,500-square-foot buildings, costing $500,000. The final total cost for both facilities is one-third of the original proposed cost.
Supervisor Amy Rinard questioned the need for two new satellite facilities when the county already has four sites.
“If having two satellite facilities increases response time and efficiencies, why doesn’t having four satellite facilities result in greater efficiencies and greater reductions in response time,” Rinard said.
Highway Commissioner Bill Kern responded to Rinard and said the efficiencies in response time is found by looking at the site locations.
“The existing sites, based on where they were placed many years ago, are in very inefficient spots,” Kern said. “Not only are the facilities old facilities that are not working out, but they do not have salt at them and they are at locations in the corner of the county, so you are not going to see the benefits of having a site in a more central region.”
Supervisor Carlton Zentner thinks the timing is bad due to the highway shop project.
“I think the timing is particularly bad,” Zentner said. “We have already hooked up 83,000 people that pay taxes to paying for the original, big shop, and now to tack on a couple little guys at the end. We don’t have to spend all that money.”
Supervisor Dick Schultz is thinking long term and how beneficial these shops can be.
“In 20 years, the county could see savings of up to $1.4 million,” Schultz said.
“That’s a pretty substantial amount.”
The most important need for the updated satellite shops is reduction in critical response time during winter storms and emergencies. Also “the planned locations would reduce the manpower required for winter maintenance and minimize overlap of the current snowplow routes,” Kern said.
Also on Tuesday, county supervisors issued $3.98 million in general obligation bonds to fund the final piece of the highway shop project. The grand total for the highway shop project comes out to $17.22 million.
Construction of the new highway shop is still ongoing but close to being finished. Supervisor George Jaeckel stated that the project is 90% complete and the facilities will begin to be moved in the first week of April.
The old highway shop in Jefferson has yet to be determined for demolition or remodeling. The county may sell or demolish all of the old buildings as well as sell the land. The only location that will remain will be the Concord location.
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.