By Lucky Kidd, Ad Astra Radio
HUTCHINSON – With Commissioner Ron Sellers opposing, design-build services for the new Sheriff’s Shooting Range were approved by Reno County Commissioners Tuesday along with a change in the county purchasing policy to make this possible. Sellers said cost factors are a major reason he opposed the project, saying he is concerned the design-build concept could end up costing the county much more than it should.
Four firms responded to a request for proposals, and after review by a committee that included Sheriff Darian Campbell, Commissioner Ron Hirst, County Administrator Randy Partington, and Solid Waste and Public Works staff, it was recommended the county go with Hutton Construction for the project.
Hutton will also assist in finding grant opportunities to help with funding. The change in purchasing policy adds a definition for “best price” and sets out policies for design-build projects such as this.
Former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
A joint venture agreement with Interfaith Housing and Community Services connected to the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital at 20th and Monroe was approved by Commissioners. This agreement is tied to Interfaith’s plan to seek an EPA Brownfields grant that would fund full environmental remediation of the one-time hospital.
The building has been vacant for years and owned by Interfaith since 2016.
Two prior grant proposals from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation were not funded. Under the agreement, the county will not be liable for any additional expenses. Under EPA regulations Interfaith is not eligible to act as the EPA applicant but the county is.
Updated Road Signage
Commissioners approved agreements with the Kansas Department of Transportation related to a High-Risk Rural Roads Project. The $561,000 project involves updating signing on all major and minor collector county roads west of K-14.
It includes a review of all existing signs to ensure they are compliant with the current Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices, installation of new signs where required, and removal of existing signs determined to not be required. The grant covers all costs including preliminary and construction engineering.