At a work session following yesterday’s Stevens County Board of Commissioners meeting, Jessica Green of Northland Securities presented a draft of a 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan as the County seeks to upgrade its Public Works Facility, a project that has been discussed since 2014. The 1963 building is largely used by the Highway Department and has obsolete equipment and components, as well as a failing sewer and electrical systems. Original discussions of an upgraded facility were in the $1 million range, but Green noted that costs have risen over the years.
But, while the cost is now between two and a quarter and two and three-quarters million dollars, County staff have been exploring at some existing fund balances to lower any potential tax burden, as well as options like a wheelage tax and using some of the County’s Municipal State Aid Allocation to support the debt payment.
Green noted that the County has the capability to pay for the building. At the end of the session, the Commissioners set a date for a public hearing on the issue for 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 10 at the County Courthouse. This is the first step in the process to gauge public approval for the project before any bonds are issued.