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Lane County Spending Big Bucks On Remodel

The upper level Lane County Public Service Building is going through a $750,000 remodel; this includes the area around where the county commissioners work, though not, according to County Spokesperson Anne Marie Levis, their actual offices. Work began last week and is expected to wrap up on Jan. 25, according to a Sept. 30 email from Capital Projects Manager Brian Craner to Commissioner Pete Sorenson.

The upgrade was included in the 2013-2014 budget, which Sorenson voted against. That budget retained the 20 percent cuts to services that were in the previous year’s budget. Commissioner Jay Bozievich said at the time, “The level of service we’re providing the citizens under this level of funding is not really adequate.”

 The remodel apparently stemmed from the county administration — under the auspices of now-fired administrator Liane Richardson — and the Facilities Committee, according to the response from Craner. The remodel, Craner says, follows a project on the lower level of the building that relocated Developmental Disabilities downstairs from its spot near the county administration and county counsel. It was then decided to move Human Resources to that upper  level spot, “given their regular collaboration, the similar nature of the internal services they provide and the sensitivity of the information they handle.”

Sorenson says, “I think the 20-year-old carpet should be removed, and the concrete could be buffed to form a more inexpensive, cleaner and easier to clean flooring surface. Other than that, it seems like a big cost.” 

Craner says the efforts reaffirm the county’s commitment to invest in “preventative maintenance and prudent upgrades” so “we don’t find ourselves in the same position as our neighbors across Pearl Street.”

County spokesperson Levis adds, “At the same time, Facilities Maintenance is taking the opportunity to address ongoing issues with decades- old building systems and equipment, repair leaking roofs and windows, abate asbestos containing materials, modify fire life safety systems to ensure compliance with modern code standards, etc. Improvements to lighting control systems, HVAC equipment, temperature controls and floor finishes are expected to save Facilities Staff significant time and money each year.”

The money from the upgrade is coming from the Capital Budget, which also funds work such as road and bridge preservation and maintenance and construction of the landfill.