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County approves new projects in five-year CIP

Government building renovations, system updates and a quartet of new camping cabins in Glen Hill Park are among more than a dozen new one-time projects St. Croix County administration is proposing in its five-year capital improvement plan.

County supervisors voted 15-2 Sept. 5 to approve the plan, which plots out construction and purchases from 2017 to 2022. The board will vote again next spring to determine funding for the plan.

Project budgets are capped at $3 million each year, with $5 million borrowed every other year in addition to the $1 million fund balance.

Funding in 2018, which total $1,918,887, have already received approval.

New projects include:

• Parks equipment: New lawn mowers for county parks would cost an annual $15,000 from 2019 to 2022, for a total of $60,000. The existing mowers are recommended to be replaced every 3,000 hours to avoid expensive repairs.

• Government Center HVAC: Re-calibration of aging heat, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the county's 30-year-old Government Center would cost $610,000 over five years. The CIP calls for $200,000 in 2019 and $410,000 in 2021.

• Camping Cabins: New camping cabins for Glen Hills County Park would cost $50,000 in over two years starting in 2019. Community Development reported receiving numerous requests for camper cabins to provide winter lodging for visitors who plan to hunt, hike, go ice fishing, and snowmobile.

• Baldwin Agricultural Center: The state Highway Department is requesting the addition of a room that can accommodate 85 people for their meetings. The project would also include replacing aging cubicles and flooring throughout the building. The project would cost $150,000 in 2020.

• Public Safety Management System: Replacing an 18-year-old system shared by the Sheriff's Office and Communication center would cost $1 million in 2022. Under the current system, officers use a web search tool to access jail information, computer-aided dispatch reports and records management system. The current system's provider hasn't supported the tool for several years, rendering it unusable if the server is no longer available.

• Upgrade analog emergency radio: Upgrading three of the county's public safety radio channels from analog to digital would cost $450,000 in 2022.

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