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Archive for Monday, January 6, 1992

SITES NARROWED FOR JUVENILE CENTER

January 6, 1992

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Four Lawrence sites remain as potential locations for a regional juvenile detention center, the Douglas County commissioners said today.

After a 30-minute executive session, Commission Chairman Louie McElhaney said all four sites were either vacant or had buildings that would be torn down to make way for the new detention center.

"The architect thought we would be better off in starting from the ground up," he said. The architect McElhaney referred to is the consulting firm of Abend Singleton Associates, a Westwood firm chosen by the county Dec. 23 to design the detention center.

At the consulting firm's request, the county will eliminate one of the four sites before the company evaluates the locations. The company quoted the county a price of $2,500 to evaluate three sites for the center.

McElhaney said a listing of the sites should be made public soon after the fourth site is eliminated. The county hopes to have the detention center built by Jan. 1, 1993. The proposed 14-bed center would house juveniles from 18 northeast Kansas counties.

THE COMMISSION also briefly discussed its legislative goals for 1992. The goals will be presented to the county's legislative delegation at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Adams Alumni Center. The city of Lawrence and Lawrence school board also will present their goals at the meeting.

One of the county's goals is to have the state maintain its pledge to finance 90 percent of the cost of the detention center. Construction costs are estimated at $1.5 million.

County Treasurer Nancy Hempen also asked the commission to seek local legislators' support for "municipal public funds investment pool" legislation that would be handled by the state treasurer's office. She said the pool would be used only after local financial institutions did not want to accept county deposits.

Mrs. Hempen said she had to withdraw $13.5 million from a local bank on Dec. 31 so the amount would not show as a bank asset. Banks have been reluctant to accept some county funds, she said, because of increased Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance fees on deposits.

"It is not easy to invest here in Douglas County now because of the financial institutions not wanting the money," Mrs. Hempen said.

IN OTHER business Monday, the commission:

Approved the appointment of Leonard Walker to the unexpired term of Wakarusa Township treasurer. Walker will replace Paul Tuley, who resigned. McElhaney, who lives in Wakarusa Township, abstained from the vote because Walker is a friend of his.

Approved the following consent agenda items: commission orders; a contract for 1992 office supplies; and a $4,800 contract with Graystone Athletic Club for physical fitness services for public safety employees.

Approved Dec. 30, 1991, minutes and accounts payable.

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