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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Oconto County To Take LEC Ownership May 26

Construction of the new Oconto County Law Enforcement Center is nearly complete. Plans are in place for the county to officially take ownership from the Samuels Group on Friday, May 26, when Sheriff Department personnel will begin moving in. Plans are in place for County Board dedication on Thursday, June 22. A public Open House, including public tours, will be held on Saturday, June 24. Samuels Group, which headed the construction project and project architects Potter Lawson, Inc. will donate lunch, according to Samuels Group spokesman Tim Harmann.

Law enforcement people will have a month to become familiar with the new jail without inmates before prisoners are moved in via a secured corridor. That will happen after the state Department of Corrections inspection scheduled for July 10 is complete.

Harmann reported to County Board at its meeting on Thursday, May 18 that the construction project had gone 534 days without a lost time accident. He said they will turn the building over to the county on May 26, but he will remain on the job until November, when the entire project is to be complete.

Harmann said sod will be laid on May 30 and 31, and the parking lot will be striped by the County Highway Department on June 3 and 4.

Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann reminded everyone to track construction progress by viewing photos on the county website via the LEC project tab.

He presented a report on finances for the LEC project that had been prepared by the Finance Director. It shows for April of 2017 the county had spent $1,010,442, bringing the project total to $29,544,239 at the end of April, which represents 93.1 percent of the total budget. The Contingency Fund balance as of may 1 was $83,008. The unallocated balance in the Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment budget on May 1 was $94,972.

Among action items for the day related to the new facility were hiring a second Courthouse Security Officer, at a cost of $57,756 for the remainder of the year; providing new "faces" for courthouse directional signs at a cost of $13,975, and after the fact approval of emergency purchase of some needed fire extinguishers.

At the end of the meeting the board went into closed executive session to confer with legal counsel regarding Law Enforcement Center contracts. Upon returning to open session the board directed Corporation Counsel Cheryl Mick to take the action approved in closed session.

At the start of the meeting County Board Chair Lee Rymer presented a certificate of appreciation to Greg Benesh for his 40 years of outstanding service to the residents of Oconto County, and members of the Oconto County Partnership presented him with their own plaque and thanks for the 20 years he has served with them. Benesh is retiring from his position as Deputy Human Services Director

Rymer also presented a certificate of appreciation for the five years of service provided by Clinical Therapist Katie Kadonsky. Kadonsky was not able to attend, and the award was accepted on her behalf by Health and Human Services Director Mike Reimer.

The board approved a number of zoning changes, outlawed deer feeding, and agreed to oppose a state proposal to regionalize Veterans Service Officers in Wisconsin

Appointment of Diane Nichols and Kathy Gohr to the Aging and Disability Resource Center Governing Board, and County Board Supervisor Melissa Wellens; Annette Behringer, Register of Deeds; Carol Kopp, Jail Administrator; Jamie Broehm, Principal Planner; Vanessa Peters, Process Development Coordinator; and Mike Schultz, Case Manager, to the Human Resources Committee were approved without dissent.


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