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County Commissioners Receive Preliminary Estimate of Over $4.95 Million for Remodeling County Building, Approve Culvert Widening Project on 27th Ave


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — McPherson County Commissioners received a preliminary estimate of just over 4.95 million dollars Monday for remodeling of the County Building at 122 West Marlin. The project would provide remodeled meeting space on the 4th and 5th floors, remodel the existing space on the second and third floors housing Community Corrections and the County Attorney’s offices currently, and remodeling the main level to accommodate the offices of the County Clerk, Treasurer, Register of Deeds and County Appraiser.

The estimate from Fuqua Construction covers all costs including design, contingencies, IT wiring, and a sprinkler system for the entire building, and would be funded through a combination of capital outlay and ARPA funds without having to finance it. Adding a second elevator would add another $316,000. New furnishings would cost around $500,000.

The project would take between 12 and 18 months to complete, depending on whether the building could be completely vacated during work.

Commissioners approved a construction services agreement with Kirkham Michael for a culvert widening project on 27th Avenue. The $233,000 agreement covers construction oversight and inspection on the project, a cost that might vary depending on the actual costs incurred. As this is largely a federal grant-funded project through the Kansas Department of Transportation, the county’s share of the cost is projected to be just over $27,000.

The Commission approved the appointment of Kathryn Lamb as Deputy Register of Deeds. Register Laurie Wizarde said this fills a position on her staff that has been vacant since June. Wizarde and Commissioners also discussed her request to hire an additional employee, which would bring the office back to four positions it historically had.

She noted there was a recent three month period where the office was functioning with just two employees, which caused some problems with timeliness of recording documents. Commissioners indicated they want to think about this, and will discuss the issue next week.

In other personnel matters, Commissioners approved the promotion of long-time county employee Diane Hedberg to office manager at Public Works, along with an end of introductory period raise for a corrections officer and hiring of a temporary employee in the Treasurer’s Office for tax season.

The Commission also approved the 2024 extension of a Rural Opportunity Zone for the county, related to incentives available that can assist new employees coming to McPherson County with such things as student loan repayment, relocation, and the like along with a reimbursement to Marion County Rural Water District 4 covering a portion of the cost of new pumps. That district includes a portion of McPherson County.