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Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2001

COUNTY COMMISSION BRIEFS

April 3, 2001

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Douglas County commissioners Monday heard the 2000 annual report from Kay Kent, director of the health department.

She said the department served high-risk people such as children and people 65 and older. The department administered 6,018 flu shots last year compared to 6,872 in 1999.

Kent said one area of concern is with communicable diseases, which includes meningitis, hepatitis and salmonella, because the number of reported cases has increased 70 percent in the last two years. The department investigated 224 reports of suspected communicable diseases last year and then identified and notified 177 at-risk personal contacts of the cases. She said staff also recommended the necessary treatments.

Low bid approved

Commissioners approved a construction bid with a Lawrence company for County Road 1055, which runs through Baldwin.

LRM Industries, 1404 E. 24th St., submitted the lowest bid of $913,821 for the reconstruction of the county road from Indiana Street to U.S. Highway 56. Baldwin city officials will pay for the full cost of new sidewalks, and the city and county will split the remaining construction costs. The county's share is estimated to be $415,789.

Keith Browning, the county's Public Works director, said the project should be finished in time for the city's Maple Leaf Festival, Oct. 20 and 21 this year.

Grant selection process may be studied

Because the grant competition for Juvenile Justice Authority funds is fierce, commissioners said they may study the selection process.

Pam Weigand, director of Douglas County Youth Services, said she is unsure how much the state will award this year to be disbursed among agencies and programs. About $800,000 was distributed for this year's budget. She said she is starting the grant process early this year and applications will be due by May 7.

During the last grant process, Commissioner Charles Jones said the agencies that did not receive funds from the JJA executive committee aggressively lobbied the commissioners to review the applications. He said he does not want that to happen again and suggested that a group hold a hearing so agencies can say why they need the money.

Weigand said she would ask Rod Bremby, the committee's lead person, to recommend a solution to the commissioners. Bremby is a former Lawrence city manager and associate director of the Kansas University Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development.

County coroners reappointed

Commissioners reappointed Dr. Erik Mitchell of Topeka as the county's district coroner and Dr. Donald Pojman as the deputy district coroner.

Commissioners also approved the appointment of Peter Houston, a battalion chief for the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical, as the county's special deputy coroner. Houston must go to scene investigations when the other two coroners are not available.

Wavy floor slows

center construction

The county has hit a snag with the construction at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Building.

Commissioner Charles Jones, who is involved with the project, said the new concrete floor on the second floor is wavy in some areas "like a potato chip." He said the construction crew and the architect this week will be discussing ways to smooth out the problem, such as sanding the floor. He said the solutions may cost an additional $25,000 to $55,000, which is above his change-order authority of $10,000. The item will come back to commission for approval.

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