Purchase photos

Sund says renovations might cost less





Ellis County commissioners approved a contract with an architectural firm for the renovation project at 601 Main at Monday night's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.

"They had told me a couple times now that when they price a project, the cost in Wichita is at least 15 percent below Hays," Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said. "That's something we got to keep in mind; the costs will be higher."

Even so, Sund told commissioners he believes the project will cost less than the architect's estimate. Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architects estimated construction costs would be $402,518. Their architectural fee is 8.5 percent, or $34,214 of that amount.

In 2010, the cost was estimated to be approximately $330,000. Sund told commissioners he thinks the project can be done for $200,000 to $250,000.

One issue to be addressed is poor drainage in the parking lot for the building, which houses the county health office and county Extension office.

"It does have a huge drainage issue," Sund said. "How we address that, how we resolve that, is important. It's not good to have water running into a building.

"I think we can resolve a lot of that by putting in a drainage structure."

Commissioner Barbara Wasinger was absent from Monday's meeting.

In other business. commissioners:

* Approved filling the final two open positions on the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission, naming David McDaniel, Ellis, and Marcy McClelland, Hays, to the committee.

* Heard monthly Extension service report.

* Approved grant applications for a road project for a section of Old U.S. Highway 40 between Yocemento and Ellis, and for a bridge project located southwest of Schoenchen.

* Approved payment of $800 to the Public Building Commission to pay for various start-up costs.

* Discussed attendance at the governor's conference on water in October.

* Received a budget recap in their packet that included a reduction in the shortfall in revenue to cover requested expenditures in the 2014 budget, which is at $21.7 million. Sund reworked the budget numbers since the last meeting and found areas in which he was able to lower the anticipated need for additional revenue. As a result, the shortfall has been reduced from $905,416 to $794,373. There is a budget meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday at the meeting room at 601 Main.