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Controversial County Purchase Closer

Proposed roads shop location moves closer to becoming county property. The roads department and Cass County Board of Commissioners begin earnest dialogue about what is needed at the site.

The Cassgram report the board unanimously passed a motion yesterday to have the purchase agreement drawn up for the acquisition of land on the west side of Highway 50 south of Highway 1. The county will pay $300,000 for the 15-acre property owned by Steve and Bonnie Meyer near the Westover Rock and Sand building. The property will be used for a new county roads maintenance shop and storage facility.

The vote occurred after a public hearing on the purchase.

The attention then turned to construction angles.

Everything is preliminary at this time, but the latest notes brought forward by the board committee showed an 80’ x 120’ x 18’ mechanics’ shop with a yet-to-be-determined-size office attached that could host a meeting of up to 30 people. The notes also included a 60’ x 200’ x 16’ truck and machine storage building on the property that would also house the sign shop.

There was quite a bit of discussion about the possibility of geothermal heating. “You have to look at the particular piece of land” in determining the geothermal possibilities, said District 1 Commissioner John Warsing. Factors include water availability and water quality, said District 4 Commissioner Dan Henry. Another factor in the Weeping Water area is the limestone shelf in the ground. Test wells would likely be needed before any cost estimate on a geothermal system could be given.

The board approved spending up to $5,000 to explore the geothermal possibility.

Henry thinks 20 to 30 years down the road a geothermal system is likely to offer the “best return. Whether we can afford the upfront cost, that’s the question.”

Board members and roads personnel will look at other counties’ road facilities for ideas and will need to decide on the correct type of design/construction process to utilize.

The design process will include a study of the buildings being earth-sided on three sides since topographical maps show there is approximately a six foot elevation difference from one side of the property to the other.


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