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Morgan County to Get an Additional Building?

Article Date: 
29 October, 2010 - 06:00

For the last several years the county has been considering a new building for county services. The county currently leases space for the animal shelter from a local veterinarian, Dr Lott. The cost of this contract could pay for a bond of approximately $350,000. The county is also hopeful that they can obtain a grant from the NRA for $50,000 for a classroom in the building that could be used for many different applications, including hunter’s safety and other training programs.
Deputy Kevin Edwards has been leading the effort to scope the project and bring a proposal to the county council. The building proposal began with a relatively small building to house the animal control shelter, a classroom, and a garage for county vehicles. The county has been struggling with space needs for some time and the council has been reviewing whether to build a larger building to take advantage of low interest rates and leveraging the project already being considered. The animal control savings would likely pay for a significant portion of any building constructed.
The council, most recently, has been considering a design that would include space in the facility to house the Sheriff’s office. This would give relief to some of the space challenges in the county building. Sheriff Ercanbrack reported in the meeting, however, that more analysis has determined that a building to house the full Sheriff’s department would cost outside an acceptable expenditure level.
The county has previously passed a parameters resolution. The parameters resolution sets the level of the largest project expense can be. The current ceiling for spending is set at $600,000. The county does not currently plan to spend this full amount, but wanted to set the level high enough that they would not have to re-approve this item if the budget moved upward during the process. The estimated interest rate for this money, which would likely come from the CIB (Community Impact Board) is 2.9%.
Tuesday night the county had a public hearing on the proposed bond. The public hearing is necessary for the county to apply for access to low interest funding.
There are still several steps the council must take before the building would be fully authorized and the county must still be approved for this loan. What size building will ultimately be constructed is still in question. It does, however, appear that after three years of discussion the county may be ready to move forward with this building and invest the money currently being spent on a year to year lease for the animal shelter on a more permanent county building.