County committee updating office building map

The who, what and how much Piatt County Office Building tenants pay for space was discussed by the county board building and grounds committee, which met for a second time last week on Friday to update a map of current occupants in the county-owned building. An original floor map generated when the county purchased the building from Kirby Hospital in 2011 was updated by County Highway Engineer Eric Seibring prior to the morning session, which included a tour of the facility.

“I think this (map) is about 99 percent correct now,” said Seibring, who walked committee members through the process undertaken to make room assignments. He said the initial work was done in 2011-12 by himself and then county board member Dick Wilkin, then approved by the full county board.

Since that time, assignments have been handled in various venues, from county board chairmen to maintenance supervisors.

“It’s been more of an ebb and flow since that time,” Seibring added.

County board member and former building and grounds committee chair Randy Shumard got the ball rolling last year by measuring all of the rooms, but felt the county should make room assignments more official.

“Something that I wanted to do is get memorandum of understanding contracts with each and every person out there, and what are we going to charge that particular room? That is something that is needed, to go even deeper than the size of each room,” said Shumard.

A spreadsheet of what each entity is paying for their offices will also be compiled. Seibring said the amounts vary, with some county agencies paying towards utility costs only to $450 per month by Services for Seniors. Seibring said the highway department pays about $6,000 annually for its space, which includes several rooms.

The map update was also needed because the internal layout has changed since the county took ownership from the hospital, with walls added to divide some spaces.

Spencer felt an updated map would be a good planning tool.

“Then if we have a request for space, then at least we know if we have space available. Right now we don’t even know,” said Spencer.

Freeing up space last year for the Carle Geriatric Group and a Mental Health Center counselor ended up some shuffling of space, with one office used by the Piatt County Infant Needs and Diaper Pantry being taken away, while one of the Services for Seniors offices was also repurposed.

Since that time, the diaper pantry has moved to an office space on Bear Lane, while Services for Seniors has downsized from three employees to one and now uses a single office, down from two it occupied for most of 2018.

The committee agreed that an updated map will be helpful – along with a list of financial obligations for tenants – should be the next steps.

Shumard pointed out that, when setting rents and reimbursements, the county needs to consider its maintenance costs.

“I don’t think people realize that there are 3,000 light bulbs to change every year,” said Shumard.

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