Finney County Commissioners on Monday approved a lease purchase agreement for its county-wide HVAC project.

The project will be completed by 360 Energy Engineers at a lease purchase price of $6.495 million. The agreement includes work to be completed at the Finney County Public Library, the Finney County Courthouse and the County Administrative Center. The lease purchase amount includes a contingency amount of $150,000.

An addition to the project is the Finney County Attorney’s Office. Instead of paying the $500,000 for a down payment for the lease purchase and going with a pay as you go method for the attorney’s building, the county can use the funds put aside for the down payment to pay for the attorney buildings’ HVAC system, along with some reserve funds, if needed.

“The challenge we’ve run into is adding the county attorney’s building is not a problem at all. The timing 360 Energy needs is a few extra weeks to get the cost finalized for the county attorney’s office and bring that to you,” Roger Edgar, with George K. Braum and Company, the financial company for the project, told commissioners. 

A finalized cost for the attorney’s office likely would be brought to the board at the end of December or early January.

Also on Monday, commissioners approved waiving the annual user fees and bond repayment fees for property the county owns in the Towns Riverview Subdivision in Sewer District No. 3.

When Sewer District No. 3 was formed, it included all tracts of land in the subdivision and all tracts were to be assessed annual user fees and fees for the repayment of the bond.

Finney County acquired the two tracts in the Towns Riverview South Subdivision from a past tax sale. User fees and specials assessments have been paid by the county since 2015. For 2017, user fees were $312 and bond payment was $160 for each tract.

The property serves as drainage retention to contain runoff from the field to the north of the subdivision, according to John Ellerman, county engineer.

The two tracts should continue to serve as drainage retention as there is probably not much other use for it, Ellerman said. The recommendation of county staff was to waive fees and special assessments until such time as the property is sold.

Waiving the fees will save the county about $944 a year, however, costs to mow and other maintenance will be incurred.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved the purchase of a mass communication system from Alert Sense for $9,995. The new system is expected to improve electronic communications between the county and county residents and employees. One feature in the system is residents can receive weather alerts.

The contract through Alert Sense will be funded through an Emergency Management Grant.

• The following county employees were recognized as Wellness Champions and were given jackets and certificates: Blanca Bribiesca, Finney County Health Department; Shaila Bonilla, Finney County Health Department; Ashley Kramer; health department; Jennifer Campos; health department; Penny Medina, Juvenile Detention Center; Nora Shultz, Law Enforcement Center; Jessica Pacheco, LEC; Jenise Zickefoose, Treasurer's Office; Shonda Sauseda, Appraiser's Office.

Contact Josh Harbour at jharbour@gctelegram.com.