County sees building options


Options for a new Ellis County Emergency Medical Services/Rural Fire Department building were shown to commissioners during Monday evening's Ellis County Commission meeting.

Brad Teeter of Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architects laid out three basic floor plans for the new building, proposed to be located at the intersection of 22nd Street and General Hays Road, adjacent to the property sold by the county last year to Commerce Bank.

Ranging in price from $2.9 million to $3.7 million, the EMS/Rural Fire Department building plans lay out several options, such as addition of a training room in the basement and use of a metal pre-engineered building for garages.

Option A entails 8,355 square foot of main floor office space, a 14,160-square foot garage and an 8,228-square foot basement, which includes a training room. That option is estimated at $3.7 million with precast concrete garages and $3.5 million with metal garages.

The training room is designed to accommodate 32 people in a classroom setting.

Option B includes a 8,355-square-foot main floor office area, 14,160 square foot garage and 2,287 square foot basement. The estimate for option B is $3.2 million with precast concrete garages and $2.9 million with metal garages.

Option C, estimated at $3.1 million, is similar to Option A and includes a down-sized training room in its 5,260-square-foot basement.

Space needs committee member Tom Wasinger told commissioners the plans were based on many hours of effort of Kerry McCue, Ellis County EMS director, and Dick Klaus, Ellis County rural fire chief.

McCue added a great deal of input for the project had come from space committee members.

"There's been a lot of time and effort put in this," McCue said. "There's been a lot of thought in this.

"I think we're very happy with the plan. It's what we need."

The plans, Wasinger said, represent the minimum requirements of the two departments, and different options were provided to commissioners because of their request at a special meeting a few months ago to explore options with and without a training room.

The steel garages, County Administrator Greg Sund said, also were an option commissioners should take under consideration.

"Obviously, (steel garages) save you some money, but they have a shorter life, too," Sund said. "That's something you have to consider."

Commissioners have discussed the potential for a half-percent sales tax to fund the new building project and have expressed a desire to place the measure before Ellis County voters in 2013.

In other business, commissioners:

* Interviewed financial consultant Steve Shogren, senior vice president of George K. Baum & Co.

* Were given a report by Public Works Director Mike Graf of the recent local officials and highway supervisors meeting and the High Risk Rural Road Safety Improvement project.

* Voted 2-1 to accept a bid of $97,757 from Carrico Implement for a John Deere 6105M tractor and Diamond DDR120 mower.

* Approved a contract with Kaw Valley for the county's biennial bridge inspection at a cost of $103 per bridge, not to exceed $23,896.

* Voted 3-0 to renew a clinical education agreement with Fort Hays State University.

* Approved amendments to collective bargaining agreements for courthouse employees, EMS employees, sheriff's department employees and public works employees to reflect a 2.5-percent wage increase for 2013.

* Tabled discussion of a court-established stay order for Hays Wind Project's conditional-use permit until after the November election, allowing new commissioners' input on the issue.

* Authorized Sund to apply for a Kansas Brownfield's program assessment grant in regard to possible contamination of the old public works shop building in Ellis.

* Authorized letters of support for Access Transportation and Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas for a federal grant application.

* Voted for a 2.5-percent wage increase for Sund, effective July 1, 2012, two years after his hire date. His new salary will be $94,556.25.