New Central Library Cost Set at $10,857,063; Old Jail Demolition Starts
Sage Water Problem Causes Delay; Pinconning Grand Opening Set for October
August 7, 2004
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By: Dave Rogers
Sage Library renovation is basically completed, but reopening is delayed about two months while a water leakage problem in the basement is fixed.
Although demolition of the old Bay County Jail still awaits state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approval, a firm cost of $10,857,063 has been established for construction of the new central library of the Bay County Library System on Center Avenue.
The Center Avenue central library site is ringed with fencing and the county has announced that construction is underway. However, the old jail sits forlornly behind the fences. Demolition of the 64-year-old jail has begun but construction on the site cannot begin until completion of a DEQ review of abatement of fuel tanks that leaked into the ground behind the jail over the years. Project manager Robert Redmonc said more DEQ tests were taken at the site last week and heexpects approval of the abatement soon.
The county commission officially conveyed the property to the Bay County Building Authority on July 27 and authorized reduction of the $187,000 purchase price to cover the $24,000 cost of asbestos abatement.
The "guaranteed maximum price" of the central library has been approved at $10,857,063, according to Library Director Trisha Deming-Burns.
The Sage Branch Library "has a moisture problem in the basement" that will take about two months to resolve, according to Ms. Deming-Burns.
Meanwhile, furniture and shelving for the new Pinconning Branch Library will begin arriving next week. The existing branch will be moved into the new building in mid-Septemberand a grand opening is slated for October, the library director said.
Commissioners Tuesday will choose up sides in an interesting "shootout" over a relatively mundane post, member of the board of directors of the Bay Medical Care Facility. Seeking the appointment are Jane Smith, former Family Independence Agency official, and Frederick "Rick" Drzyga, retiring Bay County Health Director. The winner will join Tom Starkweather and J. Donald David on the board that oversees the assisted living facility on Hampton Road.
Observers are curious to see the decision on placing a four year .10 (one tenth mill) gypsy moth millage renewal on the ballot for the November general election. The millage will raise estimated revenues of $265,200 in the first year of the levy but some officials note privately that the project is already well funded and the millage renewal may not be necessary this year.
A decision is also awaited on a controversial plan to disband much of the home health care program by laying off nurses. County Executive Thomas L. Hickner has assured patients that none will have service discontinued since the program will be phased out. He also suggests that nursing is a high-demand occupation so there will be no hardship for present county employees. The county will continue to serve patients who have no insurance.###
Government Article 518
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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