Remodels of Hubbard County Jail, government center proposed in draft capital plan
The Hubbard County Board can annually adjust the five-year capital improvement plan, based on changes in capital priorities, operating budget or other financial conditions. A public hearing is anticipated in June 2023.
The Hubbard County Board reviewed a draft of its five-year capital improvement plan (CIP).
At their April work session, County Administrator Jeff Cadwell said, “The goal and the timeline of this is to have a capital improvement plan in place and approved before we get into the budgeting season this year.”
In its introduction, the CIP states it “aligns Hubbard County’s priorities with its long-range capital needs for facilities and infrastructure that are scheduled to be funded with the county’s capital projects fund.”
“You are creating a framework to review and identify future capital needs,” Cadwell explained.
The policies and procedures in the CIP lay out criteria for evaluating capital projects as well.
County commissioners can annually adjust the five-year schedule, based on changes in capital priorities, operating budget or other financial conditions.
Cadwell said, “The CIP will include countywide capital projects, except for highway and solid waste. Those will be brought along separately and reviewed at the same time.”
The CIP also includes planning and funding for any economic development projects.
The plan is about 90% complete, Cadwell said. He anticipated a public hearing on the document in June.
By planning ahead, the county can set aside capital funds in addition to borrowing money and levying taxes.
County commissioner Tom Krueger, “I like a capital improvement plan, too, because I think it helps the levy to not have to spike one year for a project."
In addition to the five-phase development of Deep Lake Park, the CIP identifies the need for jail renovations.
The estimated $7.5-million bonding project in 2025 would expand the jail to accommodate holding, booking and storage needs. The CIP description says it will improve the intake and sally port space 11,000 square feet to the west of the Hubbard County Law Enforcement Center (LEC). It would also increase storage space and renovate the jail pods to provide greater flexibility in the jail.
LEC and court connecting building
In 2028, the CIP proposes bonding for a new $13-million facility between the LEC and Hubbard County Government Center.
If a two-story building with a basement is constructed, it would be 10,000 square feet per floor. This would provide additional court space, attorney offices, LEC administrative offices and “a safe corridor for transport of inmates from jail to court.”
Renovation of the government center is suggested for somewhere between 2028-2032. This project would reconfigure office spaces, update interior finishes and address any necessary mechanical systems.
Cadwell emphasized that public hearings would be held on any remodels, if the county board decides to move forward. At this point, nobody’s made a decision to do them, he said.
“It’s a plan based on perceived needs,” agreed county commissioner David De La Hunt. “It can be quite dynamic.”
Other facility projects are as follows:
- Relocate the auditor/treasurer department to be co-located with their first-floor staff.
- Decommission/close the south demo landfill (10-year plan). Expand and improve the north landfill to accommodate future demolition waste and recycling needs.
- Develop a plan to relocate transit from the public works facility to accommodate growth of departments and equipment at public works.
- Develop a plan to replace the Nevis public works salt building.
Additional considerations that are suggested for the CIP:
- Develop a strategy with community partners to address mental health facility needs in the county.
- Energy-efficient building systems in each facility.
- Develop a strategy for the county’s ownership and continued operation of the Heritage Living Center.
- Consider space utilization at the jail lower level with IT, storage and sheriff's department needs.
The CIP calls for county department heads to submit new proposed capital projects for consideration annually before March 31.
The CIP will be updated and adopted no later than June of each year, after holding a public hearing.
Cost estimates for major projects requiring bond issuance will reflect actual architectural and engineering cost estimates based on approved building plans.
Money set aside
The CIP notes, “The 2023 budget includes a levy for the capital projects fund in the amount of $1,100,000, with an additional $500,000 identified for economic development. Annually, county commissioners will be charged with evaluating the needs for a levy effort through the annual budget and levy adoption process. This forecast assumes a minimum levy effort of $1,600,000 for the years 2024-2028.”
Cadwell said the county is in a good financial position with a good credit rating.
The entire CIP, which includes financial forecasts, can be reviewed at www.parkrapidsenterprise.com.