JACKSON CENTER — The last Jackson Center Council meeting for 2017 found council looking back on a very productive year, tying up a few loose ends, and making plans for the first month of 2018.
The most notable action in the prescheduled meeting was a preliminary presentation and introduction on options and plans associated with the construction of a new vehicle storage building projected to be built on Washington Street with construction slated to begin as early as April if all goes well.
Dan Freytag with Freytag & Associates attended the council meeting to share information compiled for an overview of plans and blueprints, building codes, what the building would look like as well as specifics on design and construction materials and approximate costs based on historical information submitted by a local contractor familiar with this style of building and the methods of construction.
Before introducing Freytag, village Administrator Bruce Metz and Mayor Scott Klopfenstein shared information on the merit and necessity of constructing a new storage facility both noting the need for extra space and the lack of a permanent facility as the village will no longer be able to use the building they currently occupy after mid-February.
Metz noted the new building is designed as a storage facility only and not a maintenance building observing, “The cost for building a maintenance-type building according to code is far greater than that of a storage facility and includes special needs, upkeep, and higher insurance related to activities associated with maintenance buildings; our best bet is to continue to use our present maintenance building which will lower construction costs and operational expenses in the long run.”
“The new storage building will be made of general construction materials consisting of a steel frame, concrete blocks, with metal siding and roof. It will measure approximately 158 feet long and 82 feet wide with around 12,600 to 14,000 square feet of floor space depending on which design is chosen; with 9 to 10 bays and each bay capable of holding three normal sized trucks or two dump trucks, the building has a potential to store up to 26 vehicles. There will be 3000 square feet of office space in the front of the building at the main entrance and a 3000 sq. ft. mezzanine for much-needed storage,” said Freytag.
Council questioned the availability of local contractors as tentative advertising for construction bids will be posted in local newspapers on Jan. 16 and 23. Freytag said, “Most local construction companies are wrapping up projects for this year and will be available for consideration.”
Metz agreed saying “This is why we held off until now to initiate the plans because we knew the contractors available in our area will be looking for new projects for 2018 which puts us in a good place for consideration and optimizes competition which leads to lower costs and an earlier completion date for our project.”
Freytag estimates costs for the new construction will come in at around $1,230,710.00 with a construction contingency allowance of $74,820. Freytag pointed out this figure is on the conservative side noting costs could run as high as $1,571,230.
“It all depends on what floor plan is chosen, alternates in construction materials and methods, and costs of owner-provided items such as cabinetry, loose furnishings, and technological features like cabling and video monitors,” said Freytag.
Metz said he was looking at a 20-year fixed–rate loan with an approximate 2.25 percent interest rate.
“We went with this size and type of construction so as not to spread our resources too thin, I am putting a plan together at present and should have most of the facts and figures necessary for consideration at our next meeting; we hope to get moving on this as soon as possible,” said Metz.
In other new business council approved an ordinance authorizing certain adjustments for the 2017 appropriation of public funds as tax revenues came in higher than expected necessitating the transfer of funds for the last distribution.
Council also approved an ordinance to enter into a Community Reinvestment Agreement (CRA) with Lippert Components Inc. located on Jerry Drive allowing a 100 percent tax exemption for new construction for the next 15 years. The exemption was indorsed by the Jackson Center School board and Upper Valley JVS prior to council’s approval.
“We like to see improvements and expansions made in local businesses which create more jobs and opportunities for those living in Jackson Center and around our town,” said Klopfenstein, “Lippert’s desire to grow here is a welcome sign of progress and we want to help them as we have other businesses in the village.”
Founded in 1956 by Larry Lippert, Lippert Components Inc. has grown into the leading provider of custom product solutions for a broad range of industries, such as automotive, RV, marine, heavy trucking, etc. With 52 facilities and over 8,000 employees throughout the USA and Canada. Lippert designs and manufactures parts and accessories in Jackson Center for Airstream Trailers Inc.
In the administrators report, Metz noted not much has changed since his report last week; “I don’t really have a lot of new information, we are just wrapping up a number of projects and are looking forward to another fruitful and prosperous year in 2018.”
Before going into executive session for the purpose of discussing the employment of a public employee Klopfenstein noted the appointment of Ed Maxwell as economic development director and shared council’s eagerness to work with Maxwell in the future.
“We are excited about Ed’s appointment and what he will bring to the table, we know he has a heart for our village and will do his best to help us use our resources wisely and assist us in determining what direction to take on future challenges that will arise, I’m thankful to have a man of his ability and character in that position and know we will prosper under his leadership,” said Klopfenstein.
“I want to thank council for the confidence and consideration given me and hope I will meet their expectations; as long as I can be a positive contribution to the cause I will gladly serve in this capacity but if not I will step down,” said Maxwell humbly. “I accepted this position because I love this town and want to help do what’s best for our community and look forward to providing the best support I can, thank you all for allowing me to come aboard.”
The next Jackson Center Council meeting will be held on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.