Highway Dept. Study Approved 7/18/17
Should the Taylor County Highway Shop stay at the intersection of Highway 13 and 64 in Medford, or should they move to a new location? That question was posed at a joint meeting of the Taylor County highway, finance, law enforcement and buildings and grounds committees on Tuesday.
Two representatives of Bariientos Design and Consulting, of Milwaukee addressed the meeting. The firm offers design, repair and construction services for public works buildings. The highway shop in Medford was built in 1939. A renovation project to upgrade the handicap accessibility, and improve tuck pointing, windows and the roof of the Highway Shop at a cost of $400,000 to $450,000 was done 19 years ago.
Recently Chippewa County paid to have a status study completed by Barriento’s. The study indicated that their current highway department buildings were valued at just over $7 million. It was estimated that $3.2 million in maintenance and repairs would be needed over the next 10 years. In spite of the fact that this amounted to about 45% of the buildings value, the Chippewa County board voted to not spend additional money for a new highway shop.
Barriento proposed a study which consisted of a Condition Assessment and cost estimate for the current highway building. A second phase would consist of a space needs assessment. To include the status of the Western Taylor County and Rib Lake highway shops brought the cost of the study to about $20,000.
The committees agreed that the debt for the new jail should be paid off first which is forecast for the year 2022.
Dave Krug told the group that they need a plan, with the debt being paid off in 5 years. He said, “The current building was built in 1939 which is the year I was born, it ain’t that old” which brought a chuckle from the group.
Accountant Larry Brandl advised the group to be proactive in maintenance issues and find out what the costs are going to be.
Sheriff Bruce Daniels indicated that improvements could be made to the impound lot which is adjacent to the highway shop.
The committee approved allocating up to $21,000 for Bariientos Design and Consulting to provide a condition assessment and space needs assessment for Taylor County’s 3 Highway Shop locations. The study is expected to be completed in 6 weeks.