County board OKs contract to share services

ESCANABA – The Delta County Board of Commissioners has agreed to enter a contract allowing the county to provide building code services to Menominee County; the action was taken during Tuesday’s county board meeting.

Delta County Building and Zoning Administrator Dan Menacher, a state-registered building inspection and plan review official, will now perform the duties and responsibilities of the building official/building inspector and soil erosion officer in Menominee County for up to 550 hours annually per the contract.

According to Delta County Administrator Nora Viau, the position would not interfere with Menacher’s current duties in Delta County, and if there were a conflict, Delta County would come first.

Menominee County will pay Delta County $4,250 on a quarterly basis for his services. Menominee County will also provide Menacher the use of a county vehicle and fuel, maintain secretarial support for any required paperwork and maintain a building application through the county’s website.

The contract will be reviewed every six months by both parties.

The board approved entering the contract by a 3-to-1 vote, with Commissioner Dave Rivard in opposition, and Commissioner Dave Moyle absent from the meeting.

“I guess I have a concern with the fact that we hired him full-time and now we can lend him out for 500-some hours a year, which is a quarter of our year,” said Rivard.

However, Board Vice-Chair Mary Harrington said collaboration amongst counties is becoming more common due to funding concerns.

“I think as time goes on, we’re basically being forced by the state to pursue these,” she said. “If we want funding, we either cooperate with the counties or they will cut us off from certain funding. I think the more agreements that can be amicably reached between counties, the better off everybody is. But we’re being forced by the government to do that.”

The board also voted to adopt several recommendations made during a building and grounds committee meeting. One such recommendation is for a new courthouse and jail boiler system from Richer’s Refrigeration in the amount of $97,803 using funds from the county’s capital outlay fund. According to Board Chairman Tom Elegeert, the current boiler system used in both the jail and courthouse is an antiquated system with hard to find parts.

The board also approved installing new side doors at each end of the courthouse that can be opened electronically by use of a card for security measures. The doors, supplied by Jeff’s Glass, will cost $3,946.

According to Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Berbohm, one of the doors will be activated first, with the second door activated at a later time, forcing the public to enter through the main entrance on Ludington Street.

“I think if you’re changing people’s behavior, you want to do it slowly and correctly,” he said.

Harrington voiced her support of the measure.

“I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “We need to make this building safer for employees.”

Additional board-approved projects include supplying emergency power to the courthouse’s server room at the amount of $3,000 from Rapid Electric using funds from the computer implementation line item; a $3,000 repair to the facade of the county’s Michigan Works! building; a $2,700 repair to replace steps by the prosecutor’s entrance to the courthouse; a $1,480 repair to replace sidewalk and curb at the courthouse; and a $890 sidewalk repair at the county’s Service Center using funds from the current Service Center budget.