County official says bond would pay for critical repairs

A 10-year, $10 million bond would pay for repairing issues like cracked and uneven floors in the Polk County Fairground main building.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
A 10-year, $10 million bond would pay for repairing issues like cracked and uneven floors in the Polk County Fairground main building.

DALLAS — While the building repairs in Polk County’s proposed 10-year, $10 million bond won’t be as visible as, say, road maintenance, county official say they are no less critical.

County Facilities Maintenance Bond

How much: $10 million.

How long: 10 years.

How much will it cost? About 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on properties in the first year. Over the life of the bond, less than 20 cents per $1,000.

What it would it fix:

• Historic courthouse — exterior repair; window replacement; ADA-compliant restrooms; roof repair; carpet replacement, wood replacement or repair; other ADA repairs; and HVAC upgrades.

Cost: $2.8 million.

• Courthouse annex — exterior repair; window replacement; ADA upgrades; elevator replacement; new roof; carpet replacement; HVAC upgrades; and repairs to sidewalks, parking lot, courthouse lawn.

Cost: $3.7 million.

• Courthouse complex (security/safety) — security camera upgrades; emergency generator relocation; entry door replacement; and minor seismic upgrades.

Cost: $500,000.

• Polk County Jail — roof replacement and minor repairs.

Cost: $450,000.

• Academy Building — parking lot repair, sidewalks and landscaping.

Cost: $150,000.

• Public Works — Interior remodel; fire/life/safety upgrades; exterior repairs; and HVAC replacement.

Cost: $500,000.

• Fairgrounds & Event Center (Main building) — roof replacement; floor replacement; exterior repair; ADA-compliant restrooms; kitchen upgrades; concrete repairs; and concession area repairs.

Cost: $1.1 million.

• Fairgrounds & Event Center (parking/walk paths) — pathway replacement; asphalt overlays; drainage upgrades; and expansion of asphalt.

Cost: $400,000.

• Contingency: $400,000.

“Eventually, the problems aren’t going to fix themselves,” said Polk County Administrator Greg Hansen.

The bond on the May 16 ballot, Measure 27-124, would fix roofs, repair exterior damage and upgrade parking lots and walkways for safety, among other renovations at the buildings and facilities in Dallas and at the fairgrounds in Rickreall.

That will cost taxpayers about 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on properties, down from about 52 cents per $1,000 from the road bond it would replace.

If the bond doesn’t pass, Hansen said those needs would be pitted against operational costs.

“It would be maintenance needs versus operations, and we have to try to address the maintenance needs with the least impact to operations, but they will have to be addressed,” Hansen said.

The list of needed repairs came from an architect assessment the county’s facilities. Hansen said while the county has the resources for basic maintenance, it doesn’t have money to pay for major improvements that the study deemed necessary.

“There’s just too much to address all at once without a bond,” Hansen said. “We would have to prioritize.”

Commissioner Craig Pope said Measure 27-124 is not the same as the road bond, where people could drive on the work they paid for.

“When you put a new paint job on a building, new windows and a roof, it’s of less significance to day-to-day users, so it’s harder to see,” he said. “It’s not very sexy, but it’s an essential job of county government to make sure facilities are maintained just the same way we would roads and bridges.”

He said perhaps the most significant work — though it only accounts for $2.8 million — is the repairs proposed on the historic courthouse building.

“That is all of our jobs to maintain the integrity of a building whose cornerstone was laid in 1898, and we are still working in it,” Pope said.

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