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Commissioners discuss progress on new courthouse design, airport update

With all members present, the Lincoln County Commissioners met Tuesday, July 11 in the Lincoln County Boardroom to hear agenda items including an update on the design of the new courthouse, an update from the new airport manager and a new District 2 representative.

Commissioner Tiffani Landeen opened the floor to Julie Dotson with Tiger Group who was looking for authorization to proceed to the design scheme phase for the new Justice Center. The last time the Commission received an update was in early May.

“We are done with schematic design now, and we felt like this would be a good time to give you an update. With us today, we have Lynn Remmers form JLG and Todd Orr from DLR Group, they will be talking to you about the schedule, nothing has changed since last time, but we just wanted to give you an update where we are in the process, we’ll talk about floor plans, a few items have been modified on there, so we’ll go through that. We’ll talk about exterior elevations how the concepts how we got to what we’ll be showing you can see on the screen right now and then lastly we’ll talk about site and we also have Henry Carlson here and Dave Dairy and Mike Ralstead and they’ll be talking about budget today,” Dotson said.

Dotson gave the floor to Remmers to begin her portion of the presentation.

“As Julie mentioned we are at the end of our schematic design phase and some of the things we’ve been working on since we met with you guys last time is really going through an extensive cost estimating with Henry Carlson and that took us three to four weeks to go through so that was a really great exercise so they’ll be talking about that near the end but what I wanted to point out doing this with the schedule is we are on track. We’re going to ask for approval for the SD package and moving into design development which is to basically our team going a little bit further into the design working with our consultants doing more coordination and just kind of going a little bit deeper into the details of the project,” Remmers said.

Bidding the project out will begin after the first of the year. The majority of the plans have stayed the same, with the only differences being in mechanical rooms.

Todd Orr gave an update on site plans.

“We shared information on the site plan previously at our last meeting but this is just providing some additional information and development on the site plan as Lynn mentioned and we’re obviously working with a much larger team you know consultants, civil engineers and landscape architects and so they’ve contributed to adding information that’s on the site plan that you’ll be seeing here today. On the screen, for orientation purposes here is sort of the overall site plan it’s giving you the entire north 40 acres with an access off of Hwy 18 and graphically what you’re seeing is letting you know that we have a very large site and we’re planning for the future. We’ve been very diligent about looking at opportunities for growth and how this site will serve the community for many years, so with being mindful of the dollars for the project making sure we’re very mindful of what we’re spending our money on today if you look at the yellow area that is noted as kind of native grass. So even though we have a large site, and we are kind of being very mindful of how we’re using our money to kind of create a sense of place and a sense of arrival that’s very important you know for a courthouse and it’s going to be the heart of the community,” he said.

The company is being very mindful of future expansions on the lot and will create a design that will allow for additions to be added without disrupting existing infrastructure.

Dave Dairy with Henry Carlson Construction joined the meeting to talk about budgets.

“We just want to talk a little but about how the design and the costs are trending and currently we believe that the design is tracking really nicely in alignment with the budgets and with our targets. We’re in alignment on the construction side we’re carrying about a $3.2 million contingency which we’ve identified and the reason for that contingency at this point is there’s still a lot of design to do and it’s prudent on our part to carry that contingency this point and as the design progresses that contingency will track down so as more of a contingency occurs,” he said.

The company is very happy with where the design is sitting right now and are confident that it will work out to be within the budget. The Commission thanked everyone for coming in and giving a detailed update on the progress this far.

The Commission voted 4-1 in favor of moving forward. Commissioner Joel Arends was the nay vote as he felt more time may be needed to review the information given to them. Motion passed.

Airport Manager, David Meyers joined the meeting to give the commission an update on activities at the airport.

“I just want to thank the people that were on the interview committee for giving me the opportunity to be the new airport manager and I just want to address a few things been there so everything seems to be going well it’s kind of a new learning curve for me and especially the budget so I’ve visited with the auditor here a few times but I want to let you know my goals for this opportunity. My first goal is to make sure the airport is safe, and we’ve done some things to make sure it is. I want it to be a viable place for Lincoln County and I want to see it grow,” Meyers said.

Currently there are around 65 aircraft in the facility and Meyers feels it is growing.

“There’s a demand for hangers at the airport and as I’ve learned and as I’ve been brought up to speed the counties bought some land to expand so we’re really excited about that and there’s just some other things that we need to do to get in place to make this viable and safe and just a growing place for Lincoln County,” he said.

Meyers is enjoying his position and the support he has received from the commissioners.

Commissioner Jim Jibben requested board action to appoint a District 2 representative to the Planning Commission.

“I had four people express an interest in the position I spent some time on the phone with all four people and all of them have some good characteristics but at this particular stage I think the one that probably has the most characteristics that might be able to help us the most right now is Marlene Sweeter and so I’d like to appoint her to that District 2 position,” he said.

Motion approved unanimously.

Building Superintendent, John Rombough requested board action to authorize the building and grounds superintendent to solicit proposals for livestock water supply at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds.

“I am just simply asking permission to solicit quotes we’d like to try to get some stuff in motion maybe have some of the water installed before Achievement Days,” he said.

Motion passed.

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