While still several years down the road, the Dickinson County Commission is looking to establish a time frame for the construction of a justice center.
Commissioner Craig Chamberlin brought up the subject of a “time line” at the regular commission meeting Thursday.
In his report, County Administrator Brad Homman said several architects have approached the county to bid on the proposed justice center.
The 2014 county budget has some monies designated for a facility to house the court services, sheriff’s department, jail and possibly some city services.
“It’s a little too early but word spreads fast,” Homman said.
“Speaking of that, we need to come up with a schedule to tell people what our intentions are,” Chamberlin said. “My intention was, four or five years.”
“It depends a lot of how big a project we’re going to do, and whether the city is involved in it or not,” said County Chairman LaVerne Myers. “There are a lot of variables. I think your timeline of four years or so is pretty close.”
“I would like to see it moved up a little and get it going quicker than that, but realistically, it does take quite a while,” Commissioner Lynn Peterson said.
“We do have good communication with the city that is ongoing,” he added.
“We will never raise enough money before we start the project,” Myers said, adding a bond will be necessary to fund the project.
Homman said the next step would be a budget commitment for 2015 in next year’s budget. Sometime late in 2014, the county needs to start coming up with a needs assessment along with the city: “what we need, what they need.”
“That typically takes six months to a year to do that type of work,” he said. “Once they come back, probably in late 2015, work begins to select an architect once we know what we want and where we want to put it. Getting an architect on board, that could take six months.”
He said ground breaking would not take place until at least 2017. Homman said he would build a time line.
The commissioners attended the Junction City-Geary County Military Affairs Council breakfast Thursday morning. Geary County USD 475 Superintendent Ron Walker spoke.
“It was interesting to see what the schools were doing over there, partnering with the military,” Commissioner Lynn Peterson said. “A good portion, 70 or 71 percent, of their students are somehow directly or indirectly tied in with the military.”
In his comments, Myers said he attended the open house of Rawhide Portable Corral System facility owned by John and Mary McDonald Saturday.
“I was quite impressed how that business has grown and the progress he is making,” Myers said. “It does show that a small business can start out to be successful in Abilene. When you build quality and word gets around, it does make a difference.”
The commission approved the minutes of the Oct. 17 work session and regular meeting, payroll of $332,613.33 and funded expenditures of $252,374.96.
The commission will not meet next Thursday, Oct. 31 as the commissioners will be at a Kansas Associations of Counties in Wichita. The commission will also not meet on Nov. 28 which is Thanksgiving Day.
The commission appointed Scott Long, of Hope, to the Dickinson County Planning Commission.