Some new structures have been popping up around government buildings in Brown County.
The Brown County Commissioners approved the new metal building going up to the west of Law Enforcement Center to serve as storage for county maintenance and for the sheriff’s department.
Part of its purpose is to provide secure, large evidence storage, said commissioner Diana Biddle. During last year’s Daniel Messel murder trial, the jail’s sally port — which is intended for secure prisoner transfer — was used to store a vehicle that was evidence in the trial.
Biddle said the county maintenance staff had also been using the sally port for storing materials such as salt for sidewalks on county property. That will be stored in the new building instead.
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That building is finished except for gutters and paving the approach, said Brown County Highway Superintendent Mike Magner. The total cost for the building is $42,256, coming out of the county’s cumulative capital development fund.
The commissioners also have OK’d a new canopy for the east entrance to the jail, similar to the one over the west entrance, at an estimated cost of $23,000, Magner said.
At the highway department, two new buildings are being constructed.
One is a shed that keeps the sand and salt mix covered. Previously, it sat out in the open. The shed cost $14,875, Magner said.
The other is a new garage with enough room for all of the department’s large trucks and some other equipment as well, such as backhoes, Magner said. That building replaces the older garage at the site that sat behind the main building and once housed the Brown County Emergency Management Agency office.
The old building had a leaking roof and was too small to house the modern trucks the department uses and was recently demolished, Magner said.
Site preparation for constructing the new building is currently on hold due to weather.
The estimated final cost of that building is $162,071, he said.
In June, Biddle said the intent was to pay for the new highway buildings out of the highway department budget, which can only be used for highway department needs.
With the project still incomplete, Magner said they do not yet know whether any of the cumulative capital funds may be used for the highway buildings as well.