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Security an ongoing concern at county facilities

May 13, 2018 GMT

JUNEAU — Security is an ongoing concern at Dodge County facilities, and much of the building committee meeting Thursday night was dedicated to addressing those concerns.

On the agenda were a proposal for security glass in a window at the treasurer’s office, a door that won’t stay closed at the Henry Dodge Office Building, and concerns about other doors and windows in the Administration Building.

“The glass in the treasurer’s office is a window between the two doors,” said facilities manager Russell Freber. “Installing bullet-resistant glass is designed to give staff some time to get to a safe hiding place.”

Committee member Cathy Houchin said, “That does not help if a person is directly in front of them.”

To which Freber responded, “That’s no different than any other department in the county. The only place that is secure in that regard is the courthouse.”

Discussions will continue.

A new door latch may resolve inadequate security at the Henry Dodge Office Building. The employee entry/exit has been found open in the past, and is an ongoing source of concern. For now the latch, and a warning to employees to properly close the door, may provide the answer.

Repairs to the exterior stone of the 1938 portion of the Administration Building are ongoing, with another round of repairs and replacements to begin soon.

“Every once in a while, we’ll have a piece fall off and it usually lands on the front steps,” Freber said.

He is meeting with members of the company that has been working to restore the stonework, specifically the art deco carving on the parapet. The estimate to repair or replace that carving is $22,000 to $27,000.

“I don’t know about repairing historic stonework, so maybe they’re seeing something I’m not seeing,” Freber said. “We do have $20,000 budgeted for repairs, but if it’s something we don’t see as a safety issue, we’ll use it to replace some of the bigger stones that have spalls and cracks. I don’t believe that the overall damage to the building is as progressive as it was. We’re definitely in much better shape than we were in the past.”

Plumbing problems continue at the Dodge County Detention Facility, with a plan to add flushing locations in domestic water areas of the facility. A few flushing stations have already been installed, but more are needed to deal with corrosion in the pipes caused by decreased water flow. The cost is projected to be $50,000, and Freber recommended putting that sum in next year’s budget rather than trying to scrape those funds together this year.

“It’s not like the world is going to come to an end in the next six months, but it’s definitely something we need to address,” he said.

L&A Crystal Concrete Polishing has been given the go-ahead to remove tiles and polish the underlying concrete in the prisoner transport corridor of the courthouse. Tiles are coming loose, creating a trip hazard for inmates. The company did the same job in the basement of the courthouse where the same issue had arisen. The project, which will cost $7,850, will be completed in September.

A seriously leaking cast-iron roof drain in the courthouse will be replaced with PVC at a cost of $13,540, with an additional $5,560 for fireproof wrapping (provided by Monona Plumbing & Fire Protection of Madison), and $19,600 for wall and ceiling repairs (provided by Maas Brothers Construction of Watertown).

“It’s something we need to move forward on because every time it rains, we see quite a mess in eight to 10 different locations,” Freber said. “Right now, we have buckets all over to try to catch the rain wherever it is dripping.”

Plumbers had already completed some work on Wednesday night, with the remaining plumbing repairs to occur on Monday.

The county will pay for the repairs to a memorial at Dodge County Cemetery, after it was damaged by an allegedly drunken 15-year-old driver.

“He missed the curve in the road and drove right into the cemetery,” Freber said. “The monument landed 30 feet away. If you saw the truck he was driving, you would wonder how he survived.”

Archie Monument may be able to repair the monument, although replacement may be the only option. Three vintage headstones installed in the monument were destroyed.

The committee voted to pursue reimbursement through the driver’s family’s insurance.