Treasurer Pat Wells will have to find places to save money if she wants to open both new satellite offices -- one in Baldwin, the other on South Iowa Street -- that have been proposed.
Douglas County commissioners are proceeding with a plan to open a satellite treasurer's office by October in Baldwin but, alarmed by potential costs, have delayed a decision on another proposed for South Iowa Street.
Commissioners were confronted Monday with an estimate of nearly $200,000 to open the two satellites, compared to the $80,000 to $125,000 previously discussed.
They seemed in agreement that there was nothing in the higher estimates that a sharper pencil couldn't fix.
A $75,000 figure for computers, printers and related equipment drew particular attention.
"I think that number could be cut down considerably," Commissioner Charles Jones said. "I'd be disappointed if we came in above $150,000."
Treasurer Pat Wells will have to find places to save money if she wants both new offices opened.
"I could never approve $200,000," Commissioner Dean Nieder said. "We either get it down or there is a 'no' vote here."
Despite lingering questions, commissioners favored proceeding in Baldwin and directed Wells to begin negotiating for space at 813 Eighth.
Wells plans to get the Baldwin site open by Oct. 1.
But it is the South Iowa Street location that Wells said eventually would supplant the courthouse as the busiest location in the county.
The proposal is for a 2,400-square-foot, four-employee office inside the former Sears Outlet store at the Park Plaza retail center, 2108 W. 27th.
Commissioners had questions about the size of the proposed location and a three-year lease agreement that required the county to pick up expenses such as roof maintenance.
Wells said she would do more research before bringing the matter back to the commission.
"I think we'll get it done, but it's going to take time," Wells said.
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- County commission briefs. Page 3B.