Traverse City News and Events

County Preps For Major Civic Center Repairs

By Beth Milligan | April 17, 2018

Grand Traverse County commissioners Wednesday will consider awarding a nearly $100,000 contract to repair the roof on the Civic Center building – one of two major projects planned for the facility this summer.

Commissioners will vote to authorize a contract with Story Roofing for $96,400 to complete a “total removal and replacement of the roofing material” on the building. The company was one of three that bid on the project. Though Story Roofing had the highest bid, the firm’s 25-year warranty made its offer “the most economical when broken down to an annual cost covered by warranty,” according to staff reports. The county budgeted nearly $109,000 for the capital improvement project last year after a building inspection showed the roof was in urgent need of upgrades.

“It’s in definite need of replacement,” says County Facilities Director Joe Berry. “It’s beyond its age and has started degrading. There are age-related leaks in the roof. We need to do a full tear-off so we can get longevity out of the new roof and take care of the full envelope of the (building).”

Should commissioners approve the contract Wednesday, Berry hopes the project can get underway by Memorial Day. Construction would come just weeks before a second major project gets underway in the building – the complete overhaul of Easling Pool. Friends of Easling, a nonprofit community group helping raise $625,000 for the project, is in the final stretch of its fundraising campaign. As of Thursday, the organization had raised $585,000, leaving just $40,000 to go. Planned renovations to Easling include a new pool liner, ultraviolet water sanitizing system, new air-handling equipment, new decking, high-efficiency lighting, and new paint in the pool and locker rooms. The facelift comes after nearly five decades of operations at the facility.

County Parks and Recreation commissioners will hold a special meeting Thursday at 4:30pm at the Governmental Center to consider authorizing staff to begin lining up construction vendors for the project. “They’re getting really close to the (fundraising) goal, so we feel good about lining everything up,” says Parks and Recreation Director Kristine Erickson. “We want to stay on schedule so we can start refurbishment in July.”

Renovations are expected to take two weeks and will occur when the pool is already normally closed in the summer for a short period for annual maintenance. Additional improvements – including locker room, carpet, and maintenance upgrades – could take place if funds beyond $625,000 are raised.

Also on Wednesday’s county commission agenda….
> Commissioners will consider approving technology upgrades that will allow local law enforcement agencies to electronically share documents and data with the prosecuting attorney’s office for the first time. The upgrades are the second phase of an overhaul of the prosecuting attorney office’s electronic filing system and “will allow for one-step transfer of warrant request documents (police reports and attachments, photos, video and audio media, warrant request form, LEIN, and criminal history) to the prosecuting attorney” from the Traverse City Police Department and Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office, according to a memo from Prosecuting Attorney Bob Cooney. “The interface will be a substantial improvement over the present procedure, which requires law enforcement to print documents and download media for physical transport to the prosecuting attorney.” The cost of the new interface is $43,000 and has already been budgeted, but must be approved by commissioners since it exceeds the county’s $30,000 contract limit.

> Commissioners will consider formally adopting ballot language that would put a millage to fund the county’s animal control on the August 7 ballot. Commissioners previously expressed their support for allowing voters to determine if they want to contribute to funding the department. If the ballot language is approved Wednesday, voters will be asked in August to support a three-year, .037 mill that would raise approximately $170,000 annually for animal control – a figure staff has said is enough to fully fund department operations when combined when other revenue sources, such as dog license fees. A household with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $3.70 per year if the millage is approved.

> Finally, commissioners will consider continuing to outsource one area of county operations while bringing another area back in-house. After agreeing in December to outsource county custodial services for one year as a test – and to meet in April to evaluate how the test was going – commissioners will consider approving a staff recommendation to extend the outsourcing contract with firm Porcelain Patrol another two years. After evaluating the first four months of outsourced services and interviewing department heads, staff found there was satisfaction with the outsourcing contract and that it will save the county more than $45,000 in its first year.

Meanwhile, commissioners will vote on canceling the county’s contract with firm Iris Waste Diversion Specialists for coordinating household hazardous waste events and recycling education services. The county recently hired David Schaffer to be the new in-house resource recovery manager, negating the need for an outside firm. The contract would be canceled effective May 31 under the notification terms of the agreement.  

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