Budget workshop covers roads crew, courthouse
CHESTERTOWN — Interim Public Works Director Wayne Morris discussed county roads, building maintenance and environmental operations during Tuesday’s Kent County Commissioners’ budget workshop session.
Equipment requests from the roads division for the next fiscal year budget include a dump truck, bucket truck and brush chipper.
County Administrator Shelley Heller said that the division should think about prioritizing items for funding within all budgets.
Morris said an important item to be funded is the relocation of an electric panel at the Duck Puddle Recycling and Waste Disposal dropoff site in Kennedyville. Another was a front-end wheel loader, which lists for $195,800.
Another sticking point in the county’s budget discus- sions is the maintenance of and proposed additions to the Kent County Courthouse.
Heller said that while there are issues about the amount of space in the building, other concerns are more serious, such as removing asbestos from the building and fixing plumbing and electrical problems.
Part of the problem is having to remove employees from the building while renovations are completed.
Commissioner Bill Short asked for dollar figures for an addition to the courthouse, along with the costs to bring the building up to code.
Heller said the commissioners should request a meeting with an engineering consultant who would evaluate the costs to the courthouse.
Short discussed a private company renovating the vacant Admiral Cleaners building near the courthouse, then leasing the space back to the county. He said the situation would be a lease to the county until renovations were complete.
He also said that he would rather not spend money on studying the best option or designing a new building, as the fee is over $700,000.
Morris said he thought the county would have to spend that regardless, to ensure any building courthouse services were moved to would be feasible.
Heller said the county might explore options on the bond market to fund maintenance and construction on the courthouse. She also said there is a possibility to table the conversation if a private business was to lease space to the county.
Also discussed were storage facilities for county roads’ equipment at the Worton maintenance facility.
Short said the county should look at prefabricated buildings as space for storage instead of investing in an engineering study.