$265,000 is price of county remodelDavison County Commissioners study floor plan for former Central Electric building.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
After several weeks of haggling, the Davison County commissioners gave their final approval Tuesday to the latest version of a floor plan layout for the Central Electric building at 1420 N. Main St.
The building is now empty, since Central Electric has moved to its new headquarters on Betts Road, south of Interstate 90.
The county has agreed to pay $575,000 for the building, but renovations will cost roughly $265,000, the commissioners learned Tuesday at the Mitchell courthouse.
That estimate could go up or down, depending on final bids for various segments of the contract. The commissioners earlier set aside $100,000 for renovations.
In the approved plan, the north wing of the old building will be used by the community health nurses and the south wing will be used by the commissioners. The tweaked design plan incorporated input received during previous sessions with the commissioners and nurse Natalie Van Drongelen.
Puetz Corp. architect Herm Harms said acceptance of the plan officially completes his company’s preliminary design agreement with the county.
The next step will be to approve an architectural contract for the new design, said Harms, as well as a construction manager. The renovation will take about four months to complete, he said.
The commissioners generally agreed that Puetz Corp. should be hired as the project’s construction manager at-risk for the project but decided to secure legal advice before making an official decision.
Auditor Susan Kiepke wasn’t certain the commissioners could give Puetz the roughly $31,872 management contract without putting the item out for bid.
If Puetz manages the project, it would handle all subcontractors and bids and supervise construction. Puetz would not be able to bid on the construction.
In a related action, the commissioners voted 5-0 to have Central Electric have all hail damage repaired to the building before the county takes possession.
The commissioners learned that repairing hail damage from the May 5 storm could cost as much as $266,000, which is more than twice the offered insurance settlement.
Vets oppose move
During the meeting’s public input segment, Mitchell area veterans Darwin Buus, Jerry Deakins, Wenton Peters, Chris Nesbet and supporters including Grace Forbes and Elvine Maiden spoke out against moving the Veteran’s Service Office to the Central Electric building.
Those present said they like the convenience of the courthouse location and its proximity to other county offices.
“We want to keep the veterans’ office here at the courthouse because all the records are here,” Buus said. “It’s a nice area where (VSO Steve McClure) is and we don’t want to see him moved. Here we have all the services in one place.”
Commissioner John Claggett said the county is also trying to make the VSO’s office more accessible by moving it to the new location. Claggett said there are a number of increasing demands for space at the courthouse.
“We need to support our veterans and make it as easy as we can for them,” Elvina Maiden told the commissioners.
No final decision was made regarding the move.
Liquor hearing set
The commissioners set a 9:30 a.m. July 24 date to hear Ken Blaalid’s application for an on-sale wine and an on- and off-sale malt beverage license for property he plans to purchase at 515 E. Spruce St.
The property will be the future home of a new building for Leader Sporting Goods, which Blaalid has owned since 1991 elsewhere in Mitchell, and the site plan also shows space for “future expansion.” The store was started in Mitchell in 1917, Blaalid said.
“I’m not saying there’s going to be liquor in Leader Sporting Goods,” Blaalid said later in an interview with The Daily Republic. “I’m just keeping my options open. … I bought a big enough piece of property out there that something might come up.”
The property is immediately west of Sportsman’s Car Wash and across from Cabela’s on the south side of Spruce Street. It is currently in the county, just outside the Mitchell city limits, but it lies within the one-mile area that is within the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday recommended approval of a plat for the 2.18-acre Tract 1-B of Starlite Estates and a plat for the 6,000 square foot building, which will be zoned Highway Oriented Business.
No proposed agenda was available, but the Mitchell City Council will likely consider final approval next Monday, said City Planner Neil Putnam.
The county Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled to consider a plat approval for the same Starlite Estates tract Tuesday evening.
The property is currently owned by Carol Ann Dubois as part of the Dubois Family Living Trust and must be platted prior to sale.
Organizations seek funding
As a prelude to county budgeting, several community organizations stopped in during the public input segment to ask for funding.
LifeQuest Executive Director Daryl Kilstrom said the demands for supporting his organization’s clients have grown, but cash has not. If more federal support doesn’t come through, Kilstrom said, “we’re in trouble.”
He asked the commissioners to bump the county’s contribution from $5,000 to $10,000.
Jackie Horton, director of the local Court Appointed Special Advocates program, and advisory board member Mary Froning said the number of clients they serve has grown from 65 in 2009 to 80 in 2011.
CASA helps children whose families are embroiled in legal difficulties.
CASA continues to grow and now serves multiple counties on a $121,000 annual budget, Horton said. McCook and Hanson counties have each contributed $1,000.
“We’re asking you to provide $1,000 not to CASA, but the children we serve,” Horton said.
Bruce Haines requested $25,000 for the continued work of the Davison Conservation District, which provides reduced-cost trees and other plantings to county residents.
“The work we’re doing today will provide shade for people 20 years from now,” Haines said.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved the hire of the following part-time corrections officers at a pay rate of $10.70 an hour: Kenneth McGhee, Kimberly Beltran and Michael Novak. A 50-cent-per-hour raise will be given after successfully completing 800 hours of work.
• Declared the following as surplus property so the items can be sold or discarded: six old sheriff’s office UHF radios, and 40 damaged mattresses formerly used at the jail.