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Pierce Co. Board sets priorities for repair jobs

ELLSWORTH - The Pierce County Board voted last week to reprioritize projects that will be paid for with $3.9 million borrowed in January.

Building Committee Chairman Dan Reis said prioritization is a must because estimated costs keep climbing, and, in all likelihood, the board won't be able to do all the work it planned.

"All along the question has been asked: Are we going to go over our budget?" said Reis. "The pat answer is no."

He said he doubts the county will be able to do everything with the money it has.

For example, said Reis, the early estimate for the heating and air conditioning system for the courthouse and office building was $1.1 million.

Now the estimate is $1.3 million to $1.5 million and the project hasn't even been sent out for bids.

Higher costs for fuel and materials have driven up costs, said Reis. "That's just the way it is."

Another example of cost cutting involves a new grandstand at the fairgrounds. The hope had been to put a roof on it, but the plan now is to build it so a roof can be added later, said Reis.

This is the new list in order of importance:

n Replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for courthouse and office building

  • Nugget Lake Park breach system
  • Generators for courthouse and office building
  • New bleachers for fairgrounds
  • Renovation of maintenance building (Blue Building)
  • Replace courthouse elevator
  • Courthouse window replacement
  • Office building window replacement
  • Fairgrounds exhibit building
  • Courthouse Annex window replacement
  • Courthouse restrooms renovation
  • Purchase of land

    These four items, in no particular order, were identified as being of lesser importance: fairgrounds transformer replacement, parking lot expansion, parking lot resurfacing and courthouse retaining wall.

    Weiser rezoning

    Also during the Oct. 28 meeting, a request from Weiser Concrete to rezone six acres in the town of Salem from General Rural to Industrial was introduced.

    The six acres is part of recently bought property next to Weiser's facility. The company plans to develop additional product and supply storage adjacent to the existing storage area.

    The soil land is considered prime farmland, but according to the Land Management Department staff report, because the property is along Hwy. 10, rezoning would be consistent with the County Land Management Plan.

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