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Lee County to Declare Project Dead


Lee County wants to make it known that a proposed construction project will not proceed.

The Board of Supervisors could soon vote on a resolution declaring the plan for a joint building for the conservation and health departments to be null and void.

That sentiment has been expressed by members in recent weeks, but nothing has been made official to this point.

Chairman Rick Larkin says the supervisors would also like the oversight boards for the two departments to cancel a related engineering contract.

The Board of Health and the Conservation Board hired Midwest Construction Consultants out of Houghton to conduct a feasibility study for the project.

Larkin says since the project will not move forward, the contract is no longer needed.

He plans to reach out to both oversight boards to request the votes on the contracts be held in June.

The supervisors are now focusing their attention on constructing a new building for the health department near the Lee County Jail.

Larkin believes the county will seek public bids for any future engineering work related to the project.

A committee working on the new building is expected to present an update on the project next week.

Meanwhile, the supervisors have signed off on a hefty pay hike for the head of an organization that works with low-income children in Lee and Van Buren Counties.
Children First Director Ginger Shaw’s salary will increase from nearly $37,000 to $45,000 on July 1.

Supervisor Ernie Schiller says this will cost the county nothing because the money for Shaw’s salary and benefits comes from the state, via Children First.

Schiller says the raise, which has been in the works for several years, is based on a review of Shaw’s job duties.

The supervisors held a lengthy discussion before approving the raise unanimously.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.