The Grant County commissioners met for their regular meeting Tuesday, November 15. They approved an update to the chair lift kit at the Grant County Courthouse. The cost of the update is $43,000.
Maintenance Supervisor for the courthouse, Dave Larsen, addressed the group to explain the situation. “At a minimum, parts are needed to keep the lift operational,” he stated. ” I feel it would be more beneficial to update the whole chair lift kit, so we do not have to keep making repairs.” The cost for parts to repair the lift is estimated at $3,000. Larsen said to update the entire kit, including a wider deck for electric wheelchairs, would cost about $43,000. He went on to explain the entire project could be redone, but that would mean installing a new railing throughout the building. The cost for that project would total $60,000.
Planning and Zoning Officer Krista Atyeo-Gortmaker led a discussion with the commissioners about regulations regarding potential ag-based processing facilities in Grant County. “We have had a few inquiries from facilities being proposed in the county,” she stated. “These would be light ag-based businesses or manufacturing facilities such as a grinding mill. I feel we need to look at Section 1101 of our newly approved ordinance and may need to consider adding to the list of conditional uses. This would take away from having to grant a lot of variances for these businesses.” The board approved hiring Todd Kays to look at the wording of that section and present his findings.
Grant County Sheriff Kevin Owen presented monthly statistics and reviewed the 2016 jail expenses. County Auditor Karen Layher stated the jail budget is currently over budget by $25,000. Owen said he believes the jail budget will need to be adjusted for 2017. “We have a steady population of inmates being held locally on meth charges instead of being sentenced to the state penitentiary. Because of those inmates’ meth use, they have not had adequate health care. Large dentist and doctor bills have been incurred by the county.” Owen stated this is occurring statewide and is not just a local issue.
Grant County Economic Development Executive Director Bobbie Bohlen gave an update on the corporation’s activities. “We are working on our end of the year audit, planning a career day, and will have an installation of a new sculpture next spring by the arts council.”
The next regular meeting of the Grant County commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, at 8 a.m. in the courthouse.