Justice Center still on schedule

By The Mercury

Times News Service

It’s going to be close, but the new Pottawatomie County Justice Center at Westmoreland should be finished by its late-June completion deadline.

Tricia Fruendt of SMH Consultants told county commissioners Monday that things are moving ahead rapidly at the $14 million facility.

“It’s really starting to come together and every day it’s changing. It’s looking good,” Fruendt told commissioners.

“It’s going to come down to the end of the wire, but I think they’re going to make it, if all the stars align and the planets align,” she said.

Commissioners approved one change order presented by Fruendt––change to the electrical service to the laundry room at a cost of $3,646.

Commissioners Gary Yenzer and Stan Hartwich voted for the change order, but Commissioner Pat Weixelman was opposed.

“I’m going to have someone else look at it,” Weixelman said. “We’ve got 2,500 feet of wire to change out one service panel for a dryer. I just can’t fathom it taking that much wire to do that.”

In other business Monday:

• Anne Smith, director of the Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency (ATA), updated commissioners on the Manhattan-based bus service, which also serves the western Portion of Pott County.

Smith said the ATA has had 72,000 riders so far this year and made 87 trips into Pott County last month.

The agency is investigating the viability of beginning a shuttle from Wamego to Manhattan since there has been interest in such a service, Smith said.

The Flint Hills ATA is also in the final stages of completing a new 11,000-square-foot facility at the Riley County Public Works Park to house administrative offices and its fleet of 16 buses.

• Jim Jenkins, assistant director of public works, said his department is currently seeking a Safe Route to Schools grant through the Kansas Department of Transportation. The $12,000 matching grant would be used to hire a consultant to develop a master plan for installing sidewalks and crosswalks near the Flint Hills Christian School east of Manhattan.

If the master plan is accepted, the county could be eligible for up to $200,000 to do the actual construction.

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