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County board approves $742K Pleasant View project
The Green County Board approved $742,025 in upgrades for Pleasant View Nursing Home's fire protection system, to bring the facility in compliance with federal requirements taking effect in August 2013. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - The Green County Board unanimously approved a $742,025 project at its monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8 to bring Pleasant View Nursing Home's fire protection system up to federal standards by mid-summer.

The project will incur no new taxes and is being funded without borrowed money. The county is paying for it mostly from money already set aside in 2012 in the capital projects fund.

Once completed, Pleasant View is eligible to be the first facility in the county that accepts residents through the Veterans Health Administration.

"They see us as a very favorable facility," Pleasant View administrator Terry Hensel told the board.

The project includes $47,740 in engineering costs. The rest of the money is going to a general contractor, Monroe's Brandt Construction. Subcontractors include Expel Fire Protection of Albany and Monroe Heating and Sheet Metal.

Brandt's bid was actually higher than Hensel said her department had planned to pay, but it was the lower of two bids the county received for the project.

"We were hoping this would be around $600,000," or even $575,000, she said.

The losing bid came in at about $1.2 million, according to Herb Hanson, chairman of the nursing home committee.

The project's general contracting costs include a "5-percent cushion" to allow for unexpected expenses, Hensel said.

All federally funded nursing homes are required to meet fire protection standards announced in 2008, with August 2013 as the deadline to have construction updates completed.

For the Pleasant View facility, built in 1969, this means extensive sprinkler additions, as well as some ceiling replacement and other updates. Currently the building has sprinklers only in one wing, Hensel said.

In the coming months, workers will be installing sprinklers four or five rooms at a time, with residents temporarily displaced while their rooms are updated. Hensel says Pleasant View has enough extra space to keep all residents in the building throughout construction.

She anticipates completing the project by July 1 and says veterans could be able to move in as early as that day, if the application process with the Veterans Administration goes smoothly.

In other business at Tuesday's county board meeting:

- The board unanimously approved a "Proclamation of a State of Emergency" from the Dec. 20 storm that dumped a record-breaking amount of snow on the region. County municipalities and nonprofits such as public schools are claiming almost $300,000 in expenses from Dec. 19 to 22, according to Tanna McKeon, manager of Green County Emergency Management.

The board's approval of the proclamation will allow the county to apply for state funds to recoup up to 85 percent of these snow-related expenses, she said.

- The board unanimously approved 10 Human Services contracts totaling more than $2 million, including contracts with Monroe Clinic, Lutheran Social Services and the Wisconsin Early Autism Project. About 32 percent of this money comes from taxes; the rest from state, federal or grant dollars.

- Clerk Mike Doyle announced the dispersal of a $10,000 gift from the estate of Nelson McCammon, to be given in annual $1,000 installments to the Green County Fair.