County looks for cost cutting measures

Ellis County courthouseAs the Ellis County Commission continues to look for places to cut building costs at the 718 Main Administrative Building and the EMS/Rural Fire Building the commission held a special meeting Monday afternoon to discuss cost cutting measures.

At the special meeting the Ellis County Commissioners, the County Administrator and various department heads joined the architect on a conference call to discuss potential changes to the Administrative Building.

The first bid the County received for the remolding project was $944,000 well over the county estimate of $700,000.

The architect came back with a strip down cost of more than $605,000 but that estimate came without a number of alternates including an A/V system for conference rooms and multipurpose rooms for $128,000 and a glass wall that would separate the lobby, County Clerk’s office and Appraiser’s area.

Commission Chair Barbra Wasinger proposed working with local television companies, which have already expressed interest in working with commission to save some money on equipment.

The commission also identified waiting to purchase a generator as another cost cutting measure. Although they would update electrical panels that do not meet code as well as setting up so they could use a generator if needed.

There was also discussions about changing the floor plan with different department heads asking about changing some of the purposed office space. Gina Loomis is the architect on the project and she said every time the floor plan is changed is also changes the HVAC, lighting and fire sprinklers, “those little things, they add up.”

County Administrator Greg Sund said he believes the decisions are up to the County Commission now.

The commission discussed making changes to the EMS/Rural Fire Building at the special meeting as well.

The current building estimate is around $3.2 million, Commissioner Dean Haselhorst said he believes they can get the price to around $2.9 million.

Haselhorst proposed cutting the generator to the building. He said they could cut into the $323,000 dollar price tag to finish out and place the generator on site.

Haselhorst suggested renting a portable generator because they only use the current generator twice a year and he said supply companies in the area said they could have a generator to Hays within an hour if needed.

The second proposal Haselhorst presented eliminating seven garage doors and doubling EMS and Emergency Management vehicles in each stall. The building is 71 foot wide and Haselhorst said that would leave plenty of room. Eliminating the seven doors would save about $18,200.

  • wonderer

    wow. maybe it would have been better if the commission stayed the course, not hired a county manager and forgot all this new expansion ideas. are we really that bad off we need all this building? maybe a new bigger cost saving metal shared ambulance and fire building on property we own by 22nd and Vine area but that’s about it. certainly didn’t need this commerce bank building project.

  • Taxpayer

    Paid $1.6 million for the old Commerce building and through in the land at 22nd & Vine for Commerce’s new bank…don’t forget to add those costs into the ever growing tally Commissioners!