Monday, June 16, 2014
sponsored by

Big cost, big repairs at Safety Complex and Courthouse nearly one half million dollar price tag

Send a link to a friend  Share

[June 16, 2014]  LINCOLN - The Logan County Board members met briefly for their monthly workshop on Thursday night. The larger discussions of the night focused on cemetery maintenance and improvements to buildings maintained under the county jurisdiction.

Repairs on Safety Complex and Courthouse

Last month, Bateman, who is the chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, began a discussion on repairing the roof and the HVAC system at the Safety Complex. A number of board members expressed a desire to see both projects completed in the near future.

Bateman said he has been in preliminary talks with a construction company to get estimates on costs.

“In doing so, I learned that there have been problems with the elevator at the courthouse, to the point where people may be afraid to ride it,” said Bateman. Bateman said that due to federal regulations, replacing the control panel in the elevator system would require a full elevator upgrade, including a new motor and paneling.

“That estimate could cost around $131,000,” said Bateman. This would be an additional cost to the previous estimates of the HVAC and roof replacement at the Safety Complex, which was under $300,000.

“That HVAC system has been a problem for years, and now the elevator is a problem,” said Bateman.

Sheriff Steve Nichols said he knows firsthand how big of a problem the roof is. During a series of recent rainstorms, the complex had to empty two jail cells due to flooding problems. Several board members agreed that both the roof and HVAC system need to be addressed at the same time.

The county board is currently waiting to hear whether or not they could feasibly borrow money to help pay for these major repairs, and how long they would have to pay back any loans. The board was hopeful they would know for sure by the time of the regular board meeting on Tuesday.

“Once I get a clear answer on whether we can move forward, I’m sure I can get a hardball figure,” said Bateman.

County cemetery maintenance

Ron Ritchhart and Darryl White were present at the meeting to represent the Logan County Cemetery District. The board is expected to vote on their appointment to the district this month. A couple of the board members wanted to voice some concerns they have received from residents over the state of county cemeteries.

[to top of second column]

Jan Schumacher said she had received notification that construction debris was being dumped into part of the Old Union cemetery a few months ago. When police followed up with construction workers at the location, the workers claimed they had permission from the Cemetery District to do so. Ritchhart and White both said they had no knowledge of such permission being given, and Ritchhart said he will look into the situation.

Kevin Bateman said he has received calls in the past over the condition of smaller cemeteries in the county. Bateman said the cemetery in Mount Pulaski in particular became overgrown with grass last year, although the quality of lawn care has improved since then.

White said it can take up to two weeks to make one round across the county and mow around all of the cemeteries. In addition, the district works with a “dry weather crew,” meaning that wet weather can make the maintenance crew fall behind on maintaining any of the cemeteries.

Chuck Ruben said he knows of cemeteries in Eminence Township that were only mowed twice last year. Ruben said he could not remember which specific cemeteries needed more attention, but at least one of them is lined up along the roadside.

After the discussion, the board members took a straw vote to approve the appointments to the Cemetery District.

Board members present at the meeting were Vice-chairman David Hepler, Kevin Bateman, Rick Aylesworth, Chuck Ruben, Gene Rohlfs, Chairman Robert Farmer, Jan Schumacher, Emily Davenport, David Blankenship, Andy Anderson and Pat O’Neill. Andy Meister was absent.


< Top Stories index

Back to top