OTTUMWA — During two of four public hearings at Tuesday's Wapello County Board of Supervisors meeting, the supervisors approved resolutions for a pair significant repair projects at the Wapello County Law Enforcment Center.
One of the repairs is for precast panel work, including eliminating rust stains, repairing caulk joints that are failing, and removing streaking on the walls in the office area.
"What this project will do is that we'll redo all the caulk joints, drill out the cause of the rust and clean the exterior and apply clear-water repellant," said city engineer Dwight Dohlman. "When it's done, it'll look like a brand-new building."
The cost of that project would be $135,000.
Dohlman said the biggest concern was the failing caulk.
"This will probably be the last caulking job that we'll have to do in our lifetime," Dohlman said to supervisor Wayne Huit, who questioned what the life expectancy would be if not treated.
"I'm sure the remaining life on the building is another 40 to 50 years, and you probably want the caulking to last that long."
The other project to the law enforcement center is removing and replacing two 50-ton air conditioner units on top of the building. The cost of that project would be $180,000.
"These units are on top of the office areas," Dohlman said.
Dohlman said by bidding next month, replacement could occur in May, "when you don't need heating or air conditioning. The timing should work out really well with this."
Supervisor Jerry Parker said the sheriff's office has a maintenance fund that will pay for the project, and that property taxes would not be affected.
"That maintenance fund was set up when it was built, and they've maintained that for these types of things," he said. "So when they need done in a timely manner, we don't have to worry about funding. It's key to have the funding there and not have to schedule it a year or two down the road."
Sheriff Don Phillips said the units have lasted as long as they were intended.
"They're 20 years old," he said. "My understanding is that the life expectancy is about 15 to 20 years. So they both need replaced."
The deadline to bid for the projects is Jan. 13 at 2 p.m.
In other business:
• Through a public hearing, the supervisors approved the first reading of Chapter 36 of the Flood Plain Management Ordinance. Parker announced there were no significant changes from FEMA, but the county has to approve the full ordinance by Jan. 29.
FEMA reviews its flood plain maps every five years to determine how high above potential flooding water structures can safely be built to avoid damage. Flood maps also determine the cost of flood insurance.
"What's important here is the adoption allows us to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program," he said. "If we don't do this and update this, they can eliminate the county from participating. It's been about a two-year project, and we're getting to the end of it now."
"As the chair, I want to recognize all the important work Jerry has done on this," board Chair Brian Morgan said.
Parker said there will be a second and third reading as well, with the final reading the formal adoption.
• Through a public hearing, the supervisors approved the final plat of the Jager Subdivision near Kirkville.
• The supervisors approved the bid from Herberger Construction to repair Bridge 55 (215th Avenue over Bear Creek), and Bridge 107 (28th Street over Chippewa Creek). The two bridges are a "bundle project" with one of Jefferson County's bridges, county engineer Jeff Skalberg said. The total cost is just over $874,000, with grant money funding the project.
• The supervisors approved two authorization request changes to fire supression as part of the sprinkler system project that will occur at the courthouse. The bigger change will save the county $3,000 by sealing off a room on the top floor that is only used for storage and does not have sprinklers. It would only cost the county if it decided to add sprinklers to the room.
• At Morgan's recommendation, the supervisors approved a $1,000 contribution to the Workingman's Christmas Party.
"Hundreds and hundreds of people take advantage of this every year," Morgan said. "It's another group that's been affected by what's gone on this year."