The Winona County Board has requested bids for a more-than-$1 million remodel of highway shops in Utica and Elba.
The shops house equipment such as snow plows and other road maintenance equipment. A proposal to build an entirely new shop to replace the two was dismissed after the board received feedback from county workers that housing snow plows and other equipment in just one location would increase driving time for plow operators and add more time to snow plow routes.
The Elba shop is expected to include a new 20-foot by 48-foot addition to allow for the construction of a handicapped-accessible bathroom and additional space at the site. The addition will require the county to purchase land adjacent to the shop, and the cost of that land purchase is not yet known or included in cost estimates.
The current cost estimate is $1,003,343, down approximately $70,000 from earlier estimates after the County Board agreed to use Sentence to Service workers for some of the labor.
Sentence to Service crews are composed of workers serving jail sentences who are allowed to reduce fines by serving the county in a variety of functions, from highway cleanup projects to construction and maintenance duties.
The project is expected to be paid for with Capital Improvement fund money, and should be completed by October or Novemer of this year.