The Taylor County Building, Grounds & Parks committee met Tuesday. The courthouse will be 100 years old in 2014. The treasurer’s office and the 3rd floor former Circuit Court rooms are relatively unchanged from their original appearance. The committee approved the planning process for a rededication on the Saturday after Labor Day.
Looking ahead to winter snow plowing, 2 bids were received for snow plowing county-owned parking lots. JR’s Snowplowing gave a bid of $6,975 and Dave Hartl & Sons bid $8,000. The JR quote indicated they would remove any snowfall over 1 inch, while the Dave Hartl quote indicated they would remove snowfall in any amount. Committee members awarded the job to Dave Hartl & Sons for the higher bid amount to try and eliminate potential complaints.
The cell tower which is located at the NTC campus building was recently purchased by the county for $25,000. Cell service providers including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint want to upgrade their hardware to 4G. To achieve this a heavier tower is needed. The committee approved the construction of a 265 foot free-standing tower and dismantling of the current tower. AT&T would apply for all permits and build the structure, ultimately selling it back to the county. County Clerk Bruce Strama estimated that the county gets about $6,000 per month for rent of the tower. The committee approved the erection of a temporary tower to be utilized during construction of the new tower near the campus.
The group discussed the future tenancy of the campus building after NTC moves to their new building which is scheduled for early 2014. Lester Lewis indicated he’s heard several ideas regarding moving departments, and not everyone would be happy with a move. Jeff Ludwig felt it would be a mistake to occupy space “just because we have it”. Ultimately Mr. Ludwig felt it would be best to reduce the amount of space the county occupies, possibly by vacating the Ag. building. Mr Lewis indicated he was aware of several non-profits who were interested in the Ag building, but not willing to pay any rent. Mr. Ludwig was directed to bring back a set of current and proposed floor plans. In the interest of security it was hoped that all departments housed in the courthouse would have the same operating hours.
To notify the sheriff’s dispatch of trouble in courthouse offices, an updated Duress system network would add 12 areas of the building which are currently unprotected. Jeff Ludwig indicated total cost of the system is $5,102. The issue will be taken up by the finance committee.
The county’s maintenance crew is continuing work on the remodeled Winter Sports chalet. Ludwig told the committee the project should be completed for the $100,000 budgeted amount.