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August 22, 2019

7/29/2019 10:18:00 AM
Staffing issues one of many concerns for the law enforcement center
Sheriff Steve Michek discussing current jail and dispatch concerns during the jail building committee meeting held Monday.
Sheriff Steve Michek discussing current jail and dispatch concerns during the jail building committee meeting held Monday.
If one had to pick a keyword, when listening to the jail building committee meeting Monday night, perhaps that word would be "concerns."
The first set of "concerns" came from Nancy Tews, a community member who has attended many county board meetings to gain information about the law enforcement center that is set to be built starting in 2020. In the public comments section Tews said, when viewing the powerpoint, she felt it came across that there would be juveniles at the law enforcement center, which is not the case. Another concern that Tews brought up is the bathroom referenced in that same powerpoint, which apparently hasn't been in the greatest condition.
"According to my husband, that bathroom has been in that condition for years," Tews said. " Why hasn't it been repaired? We're going to have a brand new building, are we going to take care of it?"
Another concern Tews brought up referred to the accounting for the target budget set for the law enforcement center. She referenced that nine years ago, the Human and Health Services building was just under $6.5 million to go, and the interest rate for the 10 year bonds was 2.66%.
Tews said,"I'm not an accountant, obviously, but how is it that there will only be a $4 increase per $100,000 in the payment as that loan is paid off and say the $27 to $30 million loan is started, how can a payment on a $6 million loan over 10 years be pretty much the same as a $30 million loan?"
Iowa County Board Supervisor Bruce Paull said, in terms of staffing being a concern, he felt that the committee should have a conversation with Bloomfield Manor.
"I don't think that anybody on the county board, or the Justice Center has actually worked in a commercial kitchen," Paull said. "I was reading over the food service and I had some concerns."
Iowa County Administrator Larry Bierke said that it is all public record information and if anyone would like to know more about it, they are able to do so.
"I can assure you that when we design the Food Services area, we hire consultants that are experts in food service design," Bierke said. "We've met with them several times and the kitchen is designed in a way that can incorporate a lot of things."
Potter and Lawson, the architects that are designing the Iowa County Law Enforcement Center, went over the development design and noted minor changes from the schematic design that was presented back in April. Those changes included the huber entrance as well as storage near the mechanical area.
Kraemer Brothers, the firm that will be constructing the enforcement center, presented a target budget review to the committee. At this point, the total target budget is set at $27,400,000 to build the center. Cost breakdowns include general construction which is projected to be $11,600,000, mechanical and electrical projected at $9,185,000, along with miscellaneous and equipment projected at $2,600,000. While there is a subtotal of $24,360,000 there is a construction manager fee market at 2.25% totaling $545,000 and a 10% contingency of $2,495,000 which then calculates the total target budget mentioned above.
They believe that they will be on schedule to start construction sometime in the spring so long as bids are secured in the first of the year for 2020.
In terms of staffing for the law enforcement center, Iowa County Sheriff Steve Michek felt there is a need to split the dispatch and jailing functions. Many committee members have seen the current dispatch center, which is very small.
"Getting more people doesn't mean we get we're going to have more people in there," Michek said. "It just means that we'd be able to keep staff that are supposed to be managing the jail, in the jail and not bouncing back and forth to jail and dispatch."
It is mandatory that the jail is supposed to have two people in the jail at all times. An issue that often comes up is the dispatch center has a very high call volume, and with the "changing of the guards" between the jail and dispatch, Michek pointed out that earlier in the day he happened to be in dispatch having to take a call regarding a car accident.
There may be a proposal to hire two more in January of 2020 and hire two more at the end of 2020.
Committee member Carole Anderson stated that herself and Curt Peterson have been giving presentations to groups such as the Kiwanis Club of Dodgeville and at the Farmer's Appreciation Day event at Harris Park. She told committee members that she is looking for more suggestions on presentation locations.
The next jail committee meeting is on the calendar at this time for September 9 at 5 p.m.

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