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County prepares to ask for bids on building work





The Ellis County Commission authorized advertising for bids on two large projects at Tuesday's meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.

Commissioners approved bids for the renovation project at the new administration building at 718 Main and for construction of a new EMS/rural fire building at 22nd and General Hays Road. Architects still are in the design process for another large project, the renovation and redesign of the courthouse and Law Enforcement Center.

The opening of bids for the project at 718 Main will be Dec. 17, with bids being opened for the EMS project Dec. 18.

"What a great evening," Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst said. "Two major projects going out for bid. ... It's a great day for the county."

Representatives from Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architects presented plans for the administrative center project. Offices to be located in the former Commerce Bank building will be register of deeds; county clerk; county appraiser; county treasurer; the information technology department; and the environmental department.

Of the changes, one will be most noticeable, partner/interior architect with the firm Gina Loomis said during her presentation to commissioners.

"The biggest portion of the renovation that is the most obvious to everyone is the removal of the center stairs in the building," she said.

Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said it is likely it will be this summer when the county relocates offices into the new building. The new EMS/rural fire building should be completed in approximately one year, he said.

In other business:

*  Commissioners approved an amendment to the architect's contract for the Administrative Center at 718 Main, in the amount of $10,200.

* Commissioners awarded a $2.7 million bid to APAC-Kansas Inc. for a road project on Old U.S. Highway 40 in the eastern part of the county. The project is expected to begin in March, weather permitting.

* Commissioners accepted a recommendation from the fence-viewing committee to address a complaint by Robert Boardman regarding a fence line between his property and the property owned by Brassfield Brothers.

* Commissioners approved a conditional-use permit for Excel Stimulation, an oilfield services company located in Oklahoma that is seeking to expand into Ellis County. The 4.3-acre property where the business would be located is at 1602 Buckeye Road.

*  Commissioners were updated on the need for a bidirectional antenna on the roof of the Law Enforcement Center. Sund said the cost will be lower than expected, approximately $8,000. No action was taken.

* Commissioners approved the transfer to reserves of half of the budgets remaining at the end of 2012 to the appropriate capital reserve accounts. In all but one case, the transfer will move cash to the Equipment Reserve Fund, Sund said in his memo to commissioners.