Pottawatomie County’s new fleet maintenance facility remains in limbo.
Following an hour-long discussion Monday, Pott County commissioners still haven’t awarded a contract nor determined the final scope of the project.
Schultz Construction, Manhattan, submitted a low base bid of $1.13 million for the project three weeks ago.
And since the bid was about $350,000 below the engineer’s estimate, commissioners have been considering additional options for the facility.
The most expensive of those options was a recommendation by Public Works Director Peter Clark to widen the structure from 80 feet to 100 feet — the width originally proposed — at an estimated cost of $250,000.
Commissioner Greg Riat opposed the recommendation, saying the 80-foot width was adequate for maintenance of any type of equipment, including a semi tractor-trailer.
“I just can’t imagine 80 feet not being wide enough,” Riat said.
Commissioners Pat Weixelman and Dee McKee also rejected the 100-foot width, but said they would “entertain” a 90-foot width at an estimated cost of $120,000.
The commission did approve an increase in the structure’s concrete slab from six to eight inches at a cost of $10,000, and not painting the interior ceiling and structural members at a cost reduction of $23,000.
Commissioners also rebuked radiant floor heating at an estimated cost of $70,000, and asked for cost information on insulation options and an exhaust system for discussion next week.
The fleet maintenance facility is the most costly of 13 capital improvement projects authorized by the commission this fiscal year at a total estimated cost of $3.5 million.
The plan is to erect the metal building on a tract south of the current county shop yard purchased in February 2019 from the city of Westmoreland.
The facility is to include offices, a shop area, inventory space and five bays for maintenance of county vehicles.
In other business Monday:
• Riat asked Clark and other administrators to provide county expenses and tax revenues from the Blue Township area over the past five years.
The request followed discussion of potential annexation of portions of the township by the city of Manhattan.
“As a representative of the third district, I hear a lot about this,” Riat said. “If we’re talking about the annexation of Blue Township, we’ve got to know the facts.”
McKee initiated the conversation, saying Manhattan is conducting a study to weigh the feasibility of annexation, but with no input from Pott County officials.
“I can’t represent (Blue Township residents) without knowing what’s going on,” McKee said, asking Counselor John Watt if he could represent the county at future meetings.
“We have no control over that,” Watt said. “We can certainly talk about it and plan for various possibilities the city of Manhattan might consider.”
• The commission approved a developer’s agreement with Dara’s Fast Lane for paving Cassie Lane, just south of the Halfway Station owned by Dara’s at the intersection of Flush Road and U.S. Highway 24.
The cost of the paving, to be paid by the owner, is estimated at $51,400.
Dara’s is preparing to build a new convenience store just east of the current facility, after which the old structure will be demolished, according to Clark.
• The commission reviewed a draft resolution prepared by Watt regarding maintenance of detention ponds in residential subdivisions.
The proposed resolution offers two options for developers: form a homeowners’ association to pay for maintenance of detention ponds; or agree to maintain the ponds for three or four years and charge a lot fee to pay the county for long-term maintenance.
• Tim Eisenbarth, noxious weed director, reviewed 2019 accomplishments by his department, as well as annual totals for household hazardous waste collection, recycling and noxious weed spraying.
• Ross Hill, president of the Wamego Senior Citizens Association, showed photos of recent remodeling in the Wamego Senior Center, and provided information regarding the Silver-Haired Legislature, of which he is a member.
• The commission presented service certificates to Lisa Kenworthy, five years as health director, and Nick Clark, five years with the sheriff’s department.