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$4.6M in capital improvements proposed for county facilities

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:11 a.m. CST

GENEVA – More than $4 million might be invested in Kane County’s facilities next year.

The $4.6 million in proposed capital improvements include about two dozen high priority projects, such as a swipe-card access system for the coroner’s facility, HVAC upgrades at the jail and judicial center, and insulation at the animal control building.

“That building is freezing year-round,” operations staff executive Don Biggs told the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday.

Of the total proposed budget, about $3.298 million is for facility capital improvements; nearly $150,000 is for vehicle replacements or additions; $863,400 is for information technology; and $300,000 is for contingency funds.

Biggs presented the 2015 budget as part of a five-year plan. Future budgets are estimated at about $1.4 million in 2016, $1.9 million in 2017, $4.6 million in 2018 and $1.4 million in 2019.

He also included estimated costs for a new wing to the justice center ($80 million), a justice campus parking garage ($21 million) and a new coroner building ($2.4 million).

Costs for a new diagnostic center are unknown. That department provides comprehensive forensic psychology services to the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Director Alexandra Tsang told the committee there are safety concerns regarding the existing facility along Fabyan Parkway, where the sheriff’s office used to be.

“We are pretty isolated,” she said.

Issues include flooding, poor water quality, carbon monoxide poisoning, a lack of security and no nearby public transportation, Tsang said, noting a client walked to the facility last week from a Randall Road bus stop.

County Board member Barb Wojnicki, R-Campton Hills, said the county shouldn’t put its employees in harm’s way.

“We need to think about moving them elsewhere,” she said.

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