The Madison County Fiscal Court is looking for ways to pay as much as $400,000 in necessary infrastructure needs for the Madison County Annex Building located on West Main Street.
In the court's Tuesday meeting, officials heard from Baccus Oliver with Marcus Engineering, who said both the fluid cooler and Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) unit were the most critical structures to replace for the site's heating and air systems, adding their energy efficiency should also be updated.
The annex, built in 2005, houses the sheriff's office, the property value assessment office, the county attorney's office and the judge/executive's office.
With renovations expected to take place in other county buildings around the annex, Marcus Engineering was called in to evaluate the annex to make sure it could accommodate other offices, which is when several heating and cooling problems were found.
"I have heard tons of stories on how terrible heating and air is in this building," Judge Reagan Taylor said. "And in Marcum Engineering looking at it, we have found a lot of issues, so we thought it best they present to the court."
Oliver gave a presentation which noted several necessary items that needed replaced, and some which could be optional down the road.
The first of the necessary, and somewhat critical, issues was the fluid cooler, which Oliver claimed was at the end of its equipment life and under capacity.
"The fluid cooler will be a problem for us and an emergency for us in a couple of years — we just don't know when it will occur," Oliver warned.
Additionally, Oliver said the DOAS unit, HVAC controls and boiler system were items which needed the court's immediate attention for an ear-marked total of $438,000.
Other systems which he noted could be "optional" to fix, were the building's hydronic system and water heater.
When Magistrate Larry Combs asked if there were just one or two things that could be fixed to buy some time, Oliver answered that replacing the fluid cooler and DOAS unit would cost $316,000 alone, even without the other items.
"I still think the boiler is necessary, but that could be put off for financial means, but the optional items could just be put off," Oliver stated.
Oliver added, apart from the boiler system, the necessary recommendations should be installed as early as January through April 2021, ahead of the next cooling season.
With that timeline, bidding should begin in September of 2020, slating the design phase as immediate.
"We are at the time now, unfortunately, to make a decision for the coming year," he said. "Or you can put it off and everything will have to change in the next year, because you cannot change the cooling system with the building occupied in the summer months."
Magistrate Roger Barger voiced concerns about the ability to obtain parts necessary to fix the infrastructure, as plants had been closed down in light of the pandemic.
"That is the reason I have the bids set for September, as it would give us an extra month to get the parts," Oliver replied. "... Some things are still behind, but most things have caught up."
Magistrate Tom Botkin said the updates to the heating and cooling were not a question of whether or not the county needed it, but how they would plan to finance it.
"Where are we going to get half-a-million dollars at this point?" Botkin stressed. "That is what we are going to have to sit back and take a look at — is where the money is going to come from."
Judge Taylor said he would look at the county's funds with Treasurer Glenna Smith and determine what the county's potential energy savings would be when updates are made.
"We are going to see how we are going to get this done," Taylor said.
In other business, the first reading of Ordinance 20-18 was approved which pertains to the Bluegrass Regional Radio Network Interlocal Agreement.
This document was formerly introduced and approved as an interlocal agreement with the fiscal court, University of Kentucky and Scott County/Georgetown for a regional network system.
The agreement establishes the desire to build an emergency radio communications system to promote regionalism by providing a secure, reliable and cost-effective emergency radio communications network, also known as the Bluegrass Regional Radio Network (BRRN).
However, a new document needed the Madison County Fiscal Court's approval when language changed about dividends that would be received from each entity involved.
The Madison County Fiscal Court and University of Kentucky would receive 26% each, and Scott County and Georgetown would receive a combined dividend of 8%.
"This is one of those forms of partnerships to help us post-CSEPP financially," Judge Taylor said. "To be able to have a broader region of support, saving them money, saving us money, and saving the taxpayer money ... I think this is a good start and a good thing for our region."
Madison County Jailer Stephen Tussey gave an update to the court regarding the Home Incarceration Program (HIC), which currently has 66 participants.
Tussey told the court the jail just completed the first year of managing the program under their supervision.
He noted expenditures for the program were just over $150,000, with $40,000 in fees collected for participating in the program.
"This program brings savings to the jail for not having the individuals in the jail and in their custody," he said. "This has savings of $580,000 to the county."
Taking expenditures from that total, he noted savings of $473,000 this year to Madison County.
"As we slowly grow, the savings will be greater," he said. "We are on track to have $550,000 to $600,000 in savings in the coming year."
• Resolution 20-82 was approved for a memorandum of understanding between Safety City and the Madison County Health Department.
• The first reading of a zone change was approved for 3241, 3245, and 3249 located on Old Kentucky Highway 52. The zone change is from RC-7 (rural corridor agricultural) to RC-1 (rural corridor residential). The finding of facts were that RC-7 was not a "viable use of this property."
The next Madison County Fiscal Court meeting will be held Aug. 11 at 9:30 p.m. It will be broadcast live on their Facebook page, and community access channel 377.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.