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Commission reconsiders buying school modular

Jan 11, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The estimated cost of moving and installing a modular building made Fremont County Commissioners rethink their interest in the Fremont County School District 25 property.

Commissioners heard an estimate Jan. 8 that moving and setting up the building as a day reporting center for the new juvenile detention alternatives initiative would cost at least $37,000.

Thinking they could obtain the building for a free or reduced cost, the commission told the school district Nov. 20 it was interested in using the modular but did not make a commitment.

At the county board's meeting, county building maintenance supervisor J.R. Oakley said he could only get one estimate of the price of moving the building.

Mid-Valley General Contractors projected it would cost $37,000 to install the building behind the Riverton courthouse, build a ramp and stairs and connect utilities.

Commissioners said they hoped the district would give it away for free.

The juvenile detention alternatives initiative had planned to use space in the Lander and Riverton group homes for day reporting centers before the modular issue came up.

Commissioner Stephanie Kessler questioned if the program needed a new building or if one was part of the initiative's plan.

"Is there an overall budget that was projected for this need?" she asked. "And what is the need in terms of space for clients?"

"I think that there are a lot of questions as far as growth," responded juvenile detention alternatives initiative coordinator Melinda Cox. "I do believe it will house our needs"

Commission chairman Doug Thompson noted there is no budget for a new day reporting center building and asked who would pay to move the modular.

Others had additional doubts.

"On a free market deal, you could probably pick up a 1980 trailer home for 2,000," commissioner Keja Whiteman said. "It seems kind of crazy to spend $40,000 to move something worth $2,500."

"The trailer is a 1976 ... $2,500 is being generous," Oakley said.

He added the Wind River Casino might have modular buildings the county could purchase.

Vice-chairman Travis Becker asked if a county-owned rental property in Riverton would fit the need as a day reporting center.

The property has some issues Oakley wanted to discuss in executive session, issues that might rule it out.

Whiteman agreed to go to the District 25 board meeting later that evening to see if the school board would give it away.

"I''m struggling because I don't have a sense of a long-term plan with this," Kessler said. "It would be nice to work that out in terms of long-term growth and operational cost."

"We're not really clear what everyone's going to do in light of this new initiative," Thompson said. "Everyone's acquiring new personnel and property. We're going to have to get everything clear before we spend $40,000."