Report: Jail issues being addressed

 Construction of the new Cloud County Law Enforcement Center looks to be on track for completion by the end of September.
Gary Caspers relayed that message to those attending the Cloud County intergovernmental meeting Wednesday night at the Courthouse.
Caspers said that there was an owners’ meeting on Tuesday, and that a lot of the cosmetic concerns with the building are being repaired and replaced.
“I came away from yesterday feeling better about the building than I have in a long time,” Caspers said.
Concerns were raised about the construction of the facility earlier in the summer.
Todd and Chris Stupka took commissioners and the architect of the building, Goldberg, Sullivan & McCreary, Inc. on a tour of the building to point out a number of things that were wrong.
“The architects have stepped up to the plate,” Caspers said.
Goldberg, Sullivan & McCreary, Inc. presented about 10 pages of things that needed to be addressed.
“A lot of it has already been done,” Caspers said.
Caspers also said that much of the inside has been completed.
“Hopefully we are on schedule to be done by the end of September,” Caspers said.
The commissioners were asked about new government regulations on corrections facilities that have been enacted.
Commissioner Gail Engle said that the new facility will comply with those regulations.
Engle said that Cloud County Sheriff Brian Marks had been working hard to secure agreements to house inmates in the 80-bed jail.
“I think we are going to have plenty of inmates,” Engle said.
CCCC
Cloud County Community College President Danette Toone reported to those in attendance that the college is working on the possible construction of a multipurpose facility.
“We think we have a pretty good chance of raising the funds,” Toone said.
Funds for the facility, which would be located between the college and Walmart, will be raised through a capital campaign.
“Our intent is not to go out for bonds. We are going to go out for donations,” Toone said.
Toone said that Eric Johnson of Campbell & Johnson Engineers is working on a big picture design.
Toone also reported to those in attendance that enrollment at the college is down eight percent this year.
“We kind of knew we were going to be down and we budgeted for that,” Toone said.
USD 333
Beverly Mortimer, Unified School District 333 superintendent of schools, presented a handout on the upcoming $5.5 million bond election.
The election is scheduled for Nov. 5.
USD 333 is seeking funds to upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at Concordia Elementary School, implement some energy saving projects and construct a FEMA approved safe room at the elementary school.
The estimated cost of replacing the HVAC system is $2,307,900.
Trane, which is working with the school district on the HVAC system, also recommended lighting upgrades, replacing the lighting at Harold M. Clark Stadium, replacing the HVAC system at the Career Technical Education building and meter consolidation.
The estimated cost with all of the project included is $2,890,000.
Trane has projected an annual energy savings of $53,888 and additional savings on maintenance staff salaries and contracted services.
The preliminary design of the FEMA approved safe room calls for a 7,299 square foot facility. It would include four classrooms and a server room and would be connected to the southwest corner of the elementary school by a corridor. The estimated cost is $2,370,000.
USD 333 currently has 1.97 mills in the budget to pay for the construction of the elementary school. That will be paid off in 2014.
The proposed bond would call for 3.976 mills, or an increase of two mills.
State aid will fund 40 percent of the project.
Without state aid, the mill levy for the project would be 6.626 mills.
Mortimer said that the HVAC system at the elementary school has to be addressed.
“We have to do the HVAC system whether we pay for it ourselves or not,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer said that the district is willing to work with the city to allow the FEMA shelter to be used as a community or neighborhood facility.
“We will put it out to the voters and they will tell us what to do and where to go with it,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer said that things had been going relatively smoothly at the start of school with the moving of the fifth and sixth graders from the middle school to the junior-senior high school.
Also during her presentation, Mortimer said that representatives from Sunflower Manufacturing in Beloit, which is a part of AGCO, talked to the district about possible projects.
Sunflower currently has several job openings, and struggles to retain employees.
USD 333 has had success with other corporate partners in its welding department.
“They are really impressed with our facility,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer said that Sunflower could possibly send some smaller project to the school for the students to do.
Mortimer also said that the district has released some students to take classes at Cloud County Community College.
Two of those students, both juniors, are in business, and could possibly receive their associates degree at the same time they receive their high school diplomas.
City of Concordia
Concordia city manager Larry Uri reported that the city is getting ready to do the sewer relocation project that is a major part of the flood control project. He said that they expect to do the project this fall.
Uri also said that the Concordia Gas Service gas line has been laid to the North Development and is ready to be hooked up to the new Law Enforcement Center.
The city will present Cloud County with the first customer agreement for Concordia Gas Service.
Uri also reported that construction has started on the bathrooms at the Concordia Sports Complex, and that the city is looking at other possible improvements.
Uri said that the next really big project for the city will be improvements at the wastewater treatment plant. He said that quality of water sent to the river will have to be improved again.
The improvements would probably be funded by a special fee on water bills.
CloudCorp
CloudCorp executive director Ashley McMillan reported that they had seen an increase in formal requests for information.
McMillan said they are hoping to have some interest in the South Development.
Jamestown
Jamestown Mayor Randy Smith reported that the water line project is moving along.
Work on the project probably will not start until next spring. A lot of it will be volunteer work.
Smith said that the fueling station in Jamestown is doing great. It is selling about 10,000 gallons of gas and diesel each month.
It was also reported by Smith that there are some people looking at starting a new restaurant in Jamestown.

NEWS

Thunderstrikz going synthetic with installation of new lanes

By Kathleen McAlister Blade-Empire Intern After a long stint in the mechanics business, Thunder Strikez Bowling Alley owners Sandy and Dwight Housh were looking for a different kind of retirement. So they bought the Concordia bowling alley. Nine years later and the Houshes... [More]

Courthouse 8-25-16

District Court TRAFFIC ALL SUBTYPES August 17–August 22 The following people received fines for Speeding: Marta A. Barros, Culleyhana Bessie Becknell, Ronald G. Blevins Jr., Lisa K. Donahoe, Sherri D. Hischke, Jessica M. Hoyt, Matthew B. Lanning, Logan Eric Mize, Skyi Pearce,... [More]

School board approves 2016-2017 budget

The Unified School District 333 board of education needed just five minutes to conduct a budget hearing and approve the 2016-17 budget as published on Tuesday. With no public comments on the budget during the hearing, the board passed a budget which reduces the estimated tax... [More]

More News

SPORTS

T-Birds suffer loss to Cougars

GREAT BEND — Barton Community College downed the Cloud County Thunderbirds in four sets in the Jayhawk Conference Division I opener for both teams on Wednesday night. Cloud County dropped the first set of the match, 25-19. The T-Birds defeated the Cougars 25-18 in the second... [More]

T-Birds topple McCook in season opener

McCOOK, Neb. — The Cloud County Community College volleyball team opened its season by defeating McCook Community College in four sets on Monday. Cloud County won the opening set in the match, 25-21. McCook made it 1-1 with a 25-18 victory in the second set. Cloud County... [More]

More Sports

OPINIONS

Prairie Pondering

Watching out for friends and neighbors . . .  Every so often, something reminds me of the past, which stretches out farther than the future and continues to keep me entertained, all over again.  Recently, a widow, one of the many county correspondents for the weekly... [More]

Letter to the Editor 8-19-16

Dear Editor,  I want to thank the residents in Concordia for making another successful “National Night Out” on August 5th.  National Night Out in Concordia began in 2011. The neighborhood block parties are a great way to get re-acquainted with your neighbors... [More]

More Opinions

Buy Photos