Pott. County receives updates on old courthouse building, public works equipment

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Pottawatomie County commissioners received an update Monday on maintenance at the old courthouse building in Westmoreland.

The building, which has sat vacant for close to a decade sustained water damage over past couple months. Noxious Weed Department Director Tim Eisenbarth spoke about the building during his monthly facilities update.

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Dehumidifiers continue to run in the basement, which will be off limits to an upcoming group tour Friday morning, the second such tour in the past two months. Commissioner Dee McKee says she’d prefer the building not become a frequent destination for tourists.

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McKee says a grant with the Flint Hills Regional Council will allow for an assessment of the property at a later date.

Eisenbarth also asked commissioners Monday about the possibility of replacing the roof on the former shop building in Westmoreland. He says there are some county employees that would like to utilize the space, but the roof creates some challenges.

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Commissioner Pat Weixelman said Monday he’d entertain bids for a roof replacement. If something were to move forward, Eisenbarth says the plan would be to have the county employees who make signs be able to use the building. The person in charge of that is interested in making his own signs for the county.

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Eisenbarth says regardless of what happens, the former shop building is in better shape than the current space being utilized for signs.

In other business, Public Works requested the purchase of a new truck, something that was reportedly supposed to be included in the July 12 update, but got overlooked.

Commissioners agreed 2-1, to purchase a 2022 Ford F-450 at a cost of $36,000. It will replace a 2005 model with 172,000 miles. Public Works will transfer the bed from the current truck over to the new truck, since it’s currently in good shape. Commissioner Weixelman reluctantly approved the purchase but made it known he won’t be approving any future purchases for equipment.

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Commission Chair Greg Riat opposed saying he wanted to table the vote until next week since he was able to attend Monday’s meeting in person (he was in attendance, but via telephone). Assistant Public Works Director Lance Forgy told Weixelman that for too many years their equipment was mismanaged or overlooked, something he’s trying to correct.

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Both agreed the equipment the county has is, for the most part, top notch. Weixelman noted he’s very aware of the upgrades made during the past 12 years he’s sat on the commission.

Commissioners also voted to sell the department’s crane at auction through BigIron.com. The company will collect 9 percent from the sale. The crane is estimated to potentially sell for $115,000.

 

 

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