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Architect hired for Lincoln County probation office remodel

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After a lengthy discussion Monday morning, the Lincoln County commissioners hired Lee Davies Architecture for the renovation of the new District 11 probation offices at 103-111 N. Dewey St.

Davies will formulate the plans for the remodeling for a fee of $24,000. Commissioners Micaela Wuehler and Jerry Woodruff will discuss and present a final plan of what will be required to bring the building up to its best functionality.

Davies, who helped answer questions from the committee when the building was purchased, had previously identified the items that would need to be addressed. The main issues would be providing restrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and replacing doors to improve security.

“We’re looking at renovating the whole area,” Davies said, “painting, new flooring, ceilings repaired or replaced.”

He said the electrical is acceptable, but new lighting is needed throughout the building.

Commissioner Kent Weems said he was confused by the discussion and questioned whether Davies had been hired by the board for his consultation.

“I’m not necessarily on board,” Weems said. “It’s kind of a reach here from consulting to giving you the job. I don’t know if the board has even discussed this, and I didn’t know we were at this point.”

Wuehler said her understanding was that hiring Davies was necessary before going forward. Weems suggested perhaps the cart was placed before the horse. After more discussion that clarified for the board the need to hire an architect, the commissioners approved hiring Davies to finalize the plans.

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The related agenda item of setting a budget for the project was tabled until Wuehler and Woodruff could discuss with their committee the renovations needed. The item will be revisited in three weeks.

The commissioners approved the purchase of a passenger van for the Lincoln County Detention Center. Chief Deputy Sheriff Roland Kramer said they have a couple of vans, but do not fit the needs for transporting federal inmates.

“We are looking for a van of greater size, and they’re very expensive,” Kramer said.

Kramer said the Sheriff’s Office found a van with 11,000 miles and a diesel engine. The Sheriff’s Office budget had allocated $60,000 for a new transport van. The cost of this van is $39,000 plus a 12% auction fee, Kramer said.

County Attorney Tyler Volkmer asked if it was the type of configuration a local vendor could provide, and Kramer said the department has been looking for a long time to no avail.

The board authorized Bruns to sign the fiscal 2023 Second Opportunity Supplemental Community-Based Juvenile Services Enhancement grant. It is a supplemental enhancement grant, according to Jayna Schaaf, executive director at Community Connections, and Brandy Buscher, North Platte Public Schools student services director.

“They opened this pot of dollars back up,” Buscher said. “The difference is previously it was limited to ages 11-18. They opened it up to K (kindergarten) through 18.”

In other action, the commissioners:

Authorized Chairman Chris Bruns to sign the lease and option agreement with North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce & Development Corp. for what is known as the Greenbrier property, where the Hershey industrial rail park will be located.

Set 10 a.m. Dec. 12 to accept bids for motor grader blades.

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