Budget for county buildings considered by county board
The county board has received suggestions for use of its building fund that far outweigh the money actually sitting in that fund. Commissioners spent part of the afternoon of June 19 discussing capital requests and future capital needs.
Maintenance Director Brian Silence described 16 projects that have been identified:
1. Radio tech office space.
2. Cooling system for Law Enforcement Center computer server room.
3. Bigger computer server room at the Law Enforcement Center.
4. Larger emergency operation center at the Law Enforcement Center.
5. Commissioners’ room audio system.
6. Information technology director’s office chair.
7. Consolidating information technology (IT) staff into one space.
8. Highway Department maintenance shops in Hovland and Tofte.
9. Highway Department main campus on County Road 7.
10. Public Health & Human Services “card swipes” for entry into the department.
11. Remodeling of the former law library space.
12. Lawn and grounds maintenance equipment storage.
13. Security improvements.
14. ARMER program.
15. Replacement of furnaces in current Community Center building.
16. Normal building maintenance in upcoming years, such as roof replacements.
“We’re going to run out of money in the building fund,” said Silence. He wanted to know how the county board was going to set priorities and how the building fund was going to be replenished. “We’re eating it up faster than we’re putting into it,” he said.
Sheriff Mark Falk said he doesn’t want to overspend, either. “I’m a taxpayer, too, just like everybody else,” he said.
“This is a lot to think about,” said Commissioner Jan Hall.
“If we find that we really need these things,” said Commissioner Fritz Sobanja, “bonding prices are as low as they’re going to get. You have to pay the piper sooner or later.”
Auditor-Treasurer Powers will draw up a list of the improvements that were discussed along with as many cost estimates as possible, which commissioners will use in setting priorities.
“Government is growing,” said Commissioner Sobanja.