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New park ranger residency to cost $200K

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:21 a.m. CDT

Union County Conservation Director Doug Jones presented the low bids for a modular home, basement and septic system to Union County Supervisors for a new park ranger residence at Three Mile Lake.

The bids total about $170,000 total, but Jones estimates total cost will be around $200,000 for additional projects that were not bid on, such as siding and electricity.

“We will be taking a blank piece of ground with no utilities, septic or electricity and have a fully-functional, new home by the time we are done,” Jones said at the Supervisor’s meeting Monday.

Construction is expected to start on the basement in July, with a majority of the project being completed by the fall.

The current ranger residence — a two-story, yellow farm house — needed a bathroom completely replaced, new siding, structural support and the wiring brought up to code.

Supervisors and Union County Conservation Board decided it would be better to build new rather than continue to spend money on expensive repairs to an old house.

“If it would have been a $5,000 fix, we wouldn’t have been having this conversation,” Jones said to Supervisors Feb. 24. “We would have just went to work on the house.”

Three Mile Lake is a high-use recreational area that is open all year. The park ranger — who is currently Joe Mayhew — serves as a full-time supervisor. His tasks range from helping unlock cabins and maintenance to stopping any altercations and emergency response.

In other county news:

A public hearing for Union County’s current budget amendment will be held 10 a.m. May 27.

Two concrete box culvert projects will start on the REA road this month. Union County Engineer Steve Akes said there will be detours once construction starts because the contracted crew has to dig out the old culverts that will be replaced.

“If they take every available day, it will probably take about five months,” Akes said. “But they are hoping to improve on that by working on both projects simultaneously.”

Weather is always a factor in construction, but another factor will be when the utility company is able to clear the way for work to begin.

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