Justice center project 40 percent complete

By The Mercury

Pottawatomie County budgeted $345,000 for change orders for the new justice center, but with the project about 40 percent complete only about 10 percent of that has been utilized.

Dan Rowe of Treanor Architects reviewed a list a 31 approved or pending change orders for the project Monday, and said the $12 million project is going very well.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape on things and I’m really proud of the team,” Rowe said. “I’d like to credit the contractor (KBS Constructors). They’ve worked very, very well with us.”

To date, the commission has approved $43,333 in change orders for the project. The value of the change orders still pending, however, is minus $7,487, leaving the total at $35,846––about 10 percent of the amount budgeted.

Aside from daily cleanup at the construction site, Commissioner Stan Hartwich gave high marks to those involved with construction of the 63,000-square-foot facility at Westmoreland.

“I think you guys are all doing a good job,” Hartwich said. “I’m really impressed every Monday when I pull up and see the progress that’s being made.”

Earlier in the meeting, Buck Driggs of SMH Consultants, gave his weekly progress report on the justice center.

“I think if all continues as it has been we’ll have it enclosed by the first of the year,” Driggs said. “I’m optimistic we’ll get it closed in before the nasty weather hits.”

In other business Monday:

• The commission authorized Leu Lowrey, public works director, to advertise for sale a used backhoe from the Road and Bridge Department.

The commission preferred to advertise the equipment for sale rather than to auction it through Purple Wave.

• Tim Eisenbarth, noxious weed director, reported that 231,000 pounds of material has been shipped to the recycling center in Nemaha County so far this year. Shipping cost was $12,944, he said.

Year-to-date, the county has also recycled 159 bales of cardboard.

• Scott Schwinn, landfill director, said 361 vehicles visited the landfill during the annual fall free day October 6––about 100 less than last year.

The landfill received more than 104 tons of waste material, plus 46 tons of construction debris, Schwinn said.

Schwinn also made a request on behalf of his staff to close the landfill at noon Saturday, December 22, the Saturday before Christmas. Landfill employees would use one-half day of vacation, he said.

Commissioners took the request under advisement.

• The commission approved a request to rezone from R-1 (Residential) to C-N (Neighborhood Commercial Service) the building and property owned by Black Jack American Legion at the intersection of Legion Lane and U.S. Highway 24.

The rezoning will help accommodate the sale of the building and the 2.13 acres, according to John Keller, county planner.

• Gregg Webster, zoning administrator, reported 19 building permits valued $3,176,000 were issued in October. Fourteen of those permits were for new dwellings.

In October of 2011, there were 23 permits issued, but only five for new dwellings.

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