Renovations on the restrooms in the Lake County Courthouse will be completed by the time offices in the courthouse are opened again to the public.
At a short meeting on Tuesday morning, county commissioners received an update from Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Dave Hare on the renovation project, in addition to ratifying an update on the continuation of operations plan drafted by Shelli Gust, commission administrative officer.
Gust reported that she, Chair Kelli Wollmann and Commissioner Aaron Johnson sought feedback from department heads before updating the county's plan for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The biggest change is to reopen doors on June 1," Gust told commissioners.
The plan, published in The Daily Leader on Tuesday, indicates that decisions either limiting or restricting services are made with the safety and health of the community and employees in mind. With that as the guiding principle, department heads are being given the discretion to make decisions regarding their operations.
"They want to keep that flexibility in place for now," Gust said.
She told commissioners that throughout the current closure, county offices have continued to provide services and that she has not received any complaints. Commissioner Deb Reinicke said that she has been approached once by someone who was disgruntled when he could not simply hand over a check for his taxes.
"It takes a while for people to adapt," Wollmann said.
Commissioner Dennis Slaughter said he was in favor of erring on the side of caution regarding this matter.
With the updated plan, department heads may require appointments, limit the number of people in their office at any one time, conduct business and deliver services remotely, increase the physical space between employees and members of the public, or utilize protective measures when dealing with the public.
Department heads may also make decisions which affect the way their departments operate internally by implementing flexible scheduling and using videoconferencing for work-related meetings.
In addition to unlocking office doors, the county will begin to accept applications for the use of its facilities on June 1. The applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis using CDC guidelines.
Prior to ratifying the updated plan, commissioners received a report from Hare regarding the restroom renovations. He invited Dan Wardner with Amert Construction to speak with commissioners as well.
In a written quarterly report submitted in April, Hare indicated that fourth-floor and court reporter restrooms were completed. At that time, restrooms on the second and third floors were awaiting lighting and doors, and the first-floor restrooms were awaiting flooring and lighting.
On Tuesday, Hare said the project was ahead of schedule and all restrooms could be open within two weeks.
"The plumbing is pretty much done," Wardner said. He indicated that partitions would be added to second- and third-floor restrooms and the door trim completed this week.
"The project is done very well," Hare said. "By the end of next week, everything should be done."
He explained that in completing the project, they encountered "a couple surprises" because the 1933 blueprints were not entirely accurate. These resulted in additional expenses which he asked the commission to approve. The overall project cost $357,319 -- $23,669 more than the original contract.
In other business, the commissioners:
-- Approved an agreement with the state Department of Health for a grant to provide WIC services in Lake County. The Women, Infants and Children program provides supplemental food and nutrition education to eligible families.
-- Approved two utility occupancy applications from Sioux Valley Energy.
-- Approved an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for the striping and continuing maintenance of county roads. With the agreement, the state takes responsibility for advertising the project, awarding the contract and administering construction of the project, and then bills the county for its portion.
Striping of approximately 28.8 miles of roadway is expected to cost $29,718.79. Of this, the county's portion will be $21,915.71. Lake County Auditor Bobbi Janke noted the final bill may be different than the projected cost because with no overlay project this year, fewer miles of roadway may be striped.
-- Received notice that Lakeview Township has established a speed zone on part of 460th Avenue, which is a township road. Between SD-34 and 236th Street, a speed zone of 35 miles per hour has been established.
-- Went into executive session to discuss personnel.