The Pottawatomie County Commission Monday decided to move forward with the final design of a new fleet maintenance facility.

The design is expected to be completed by Nov. 25, and, pending final approval by the commission, could go to bid in early 2020.

“We believe what we have now satisfies the overall scope of the original concept,” Peter Clark, public works director, told commissioners.

Clark and Clint Hibbs of BG Consultants reviewed the facility design, now at a 30% completion stage.

The fleet maintenance facility has been on the commission’s radar for several years and was cited in a 2015 space needs assessment as a top priority for the county.

At an estimated cost of $1.87 million, it is also the most expensive on the county’s priority list of capital improvement projects.

The county began the fiscal year with $6.56 million in its Capital Improvements Projects (CIP) Fund, and has approved projects in the amount of about $1.17 million.

Six pending projects — including the fleet maintenance facility — would, if approved, draw the fund down to about $1.85 million, according to figures developed by Administrator Chad Kinsley.

The Road and Bridge Department, however, is scheduled this fiscal year to transfer an additional $900,000 from its operational budget to the CIP Fund, bringing to $2 million the total the department has contributed toward the fleet maintenance facility, according to Peter Clark, public works director.

The two transfers — $1.1 million in 2018 and $900,000 this year — were originally budgeted for equipment purchases, but were not spent, Clark told commissioners.

The basic scope of the proposed fleet maintenance facility would include an 80-foot-by-132-foot metal building with three drive-through bays and two shorter service bays.

The structure would also include an office, restroom and space for storage of materials. It would be constructed south of the current county shop on land already purchased.

While the commission gave its unanimous approval for full design of the facility, the project is not a done deal, according to one commissioner.

“Just because the plans are ready Nov. 25, doesn’t mean we’re going out to bid Jan. 6. I want to look at the numbers first,” said Commissioner Pat Weixelman. “I just want to lay that out there so everybody knows.”

In other business Monday:

• Crystal Malchose, human resources director, said NEOGOV has agreed to refund the $50,000 startup fee paid several months ago when the county changed payroll vendors.

The commission last week approved Malchose’s recommendation to switch back to its former vendor, ADP Payroll Solutions, after encountering service deficiencies with NEOGOV.

ADP has also waived its normal $8,129 startup fee since the county had been a client since 1996, Malchose said.

• The commission approved renewal of a 10-year lease of Carnahan Park from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The park is a 246-acre tract 6 miles south of Olsburg with two boat ramps providing lake access at the upper end of Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

“A lot of people use it,” said Tim Eisenbarth, noxious weed director. “It gives a lot of people access to the back side of Tuttle Creek.”

The county has leased the park at no charge since the 1980s, and invests about 120 hours annually in maintenance — primarily mowing and clean-up, Eisenbarth said.

Eisenbarth also reported that the Pottawatomie Recycling Committee has decided to discontinue comingle recycling trailers at Wamego and St. George due to the low price paid for those recyclables.

“Basically, the comingle is plastics — anything that’s not newspaper, magazines or cardboard,” Eisenbarth said. “Honestly, we don’t get enough volume. You’ve got to get a lot of plastic to make a bale.”

The committee may decide to resume the comingle trailers if prices rebound, he said.

• The commission approved contracts with Blue Valley Consultants ($2,500) and BG Consultants ($1,500) to prepare grant applications for a new cost-share program offered by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Blue Valley will prepare a grant application for improvements to Elm Slough Road, and BG will prepare an application for replacement of the bridge over Rock Creek on Louisville Road.

• The commission approved, following a public hearing, a landowner petition to vacate Oxen Road northwest of Louisville.

The dirt road has attracted “a lot of mudding vehicles and has no purpose any more in the county system,” said John Keller, county planner.

• The commission awarded longevity certificates to the following county employees: Dale Rice, 15 years with the sheriff’s department; Lisa Redmond, 10 years with the appraiser’s office; Chad Kinsley, five years in administration; A. Blake Hinkle, five years with the sheriff’s department; and Leslie Dugan, five years with the clerk’s office.