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Where was plan for maintenance?

By Staff | Nov 23, 2009

Some residents of Faribault County are going to be surprised to read in this week’s Register that there wasn’t a plan for doing cleaning, mowing, snow removal and maintenance at the new County Law Enforcement Center.

Others will read the story and feel that it is a fitting final ending to a series of problems with building a new jail.

We are among the group who is surprised that no one thought of maintenance when the structure was being built over a two year span. Everyone was so concerned with building it, and then training personnel to operate it on a day to day basis, that no one wondered who was going to vacuum the floors, empty the trash, and clean the toilets.

Perhaps the thought was to just have the current staff do it.

At any rate, it is a large building, with plenty of floor space and lots of toilets. Plus, the grounds have parking lots and sidewalks that will need to be plowed, and a lot of grass areas to mow.

Someone needs to do it. Perhaps the prisoners themselves, using the Sentenced to Serve program?

Tuesday’s County Board meeting also showed what can happen to a governmental body when presented with a problem, such as getting janitorial service for a new jail. They spent a half hour discussing the issue and throwing out suggestions. They made guesses at whether hiring a person, or contracting out a service, was less expensive.

It delayed their meeting and put them behind on their agenda.

It was a case of too much micro-managing.

The board needed to just instruct its staff to explore the solutions and come back with a proposal. Instead, they muddied the waters and made a confusing decision which left persons wondering if the services should be hired out, or a new employee be hired.

In the meantime, we hope the trash cans aren’t overflowing at the jail.