County finds storage solution for court files
District Court staff, Sheriff's Office personnel and the Leavenworth Board of County Commissioners have laid out a proposal that would put to rest the issue of storing dead court files and would allow renovations to proceed in the basement of the county Justice Center.
Undersheriff Ron Cranor presented a plan to store the 16,050 linear feet of court files that had temporarily been stored in the basement of the Justice Center in the building's employee break room.
Cranor said that 1st Judicial District Chief Judge David King, Sheriff Dave Zoellner and a representative of Treanor Architects, the firm designing the basement renovations, met and discussed a plan to install 19-feet of moveable shelving estimated at $47,440.
Although there were some concerns about intruding into employees' space, Cranor said, "the space in there was highly underutilized," and that there rarely was more than one employee present at a time.
He added that the plan would leave 336 square feet of seating for Justice Center employees and would retain the break room's kitchen.
When asked for his input, King said, "This is the most effective way, I think, to store our files."
He noted there would be some expense included in the proposal but said, "It is one of the lowest figures I've seen compared to alternatives explored."
In May 2007, commissioners entertained proposals as high as $900,000 to renovate the old jail north of the Justice Center and to build an addition to the justice center to increase storage space.
By state mandate the court is required to keep files on hand, in some cases up to 10 years.
King said that with the court's current efforts to put files on microfilm, "We don't see, in 10 years that, with imaging, (the number of files) is going to get any larger. Actually it should diminish."
Commissioner Dean Oroke noted that requests for proposals for shelving would still need to be sent out to multiple vendors, and King said the city of Leavenworth should also be contacted, because the city's Police Department is also housed in the Justice Center.
Besides those concerns, all three commissioners expressed some level of support for the proposal.
"I like this," 2nd District Commissioner Clyde Graeber said. " : I'd like to see us move ahead."
"I'd just hate to build another building when we can utilize the space that we already have," Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson added.
Once the court documents are moved, work to add a completely refurbished kitchen, a new work release area and a new trusty area to the Justice Center's basement can be initiated.
In other business Thursday, the board:
¢ Voted, 3-0, to enter into an agreement with the Atchison School District to offer the district a truancy reduction program run through the Leavenworth County Juvenile Services department.
Juvenile Services director Bob Doyle said the semester-long program could begin in January and would cost USD 409 approximately $19,000.
Commissioners also unanimously approved a motion to initiate legal cancellation of a contract with Health Care Professionals for mental health services at the juvenile detention center.
Doyle said the company was not responding to requests for mental health services in a timely manner. He suggested contracting locally with the Leavenworth Guidance Center for the mental health portion of juvenile services' contract.
¢ Adopted, 3-0, a Web filtering policy that blocks employees from accessing Web sites that feature adult or sexually explicit content, gambling or games and prevents them from accessing Web-based personal e-mail accounts.
¢ Voted, 3-0, to extend a lease agreement for three years for the Council on Aging's facility at 109-A Delaware St. The lease starts at a base rate of $3,095 per month and increases by 3 percent annually.
¢Met in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss potential litigation.
In business Monday, the board:
¢ Decided to postpone the Leavenworth County tax sale scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, to Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008, due to inclement weather.
At least 20 properties seized by the county, due to delinquent property taxes, are to be up for auction then.
¢ Unanimously voted to purchase and install a separate DSL circuit for the Emergency Management department's emergency operations center and wireless DSL to cover the basement conference room at the courthouse.
Information Systems director Larry Malbrough estimated the cost for the undertaking at $1,000 for hardware with a $30 to $40 monthly recurring cost for the DSL circuit, to be paid out of the Emergency Management Department's operating budget.
¢ Met in executive session with Register of Deeds Stacy Driscoll and Human Resources Director Diane Collins for 10 minutes to discuss personnel. After the session, the commission approved a motion, 3-0, to move the Register of Deeds position from a level-4 to a level-8 position.