Fuel tanks at a former gas station purchased by the county will likely be decommissioned as the property is renovated for the sheriff’s department.
The Gage County Board of Supervisors voted last October to buy the land and building at 620 N. Sixth St., directly north of the jail, for $250,000. The board voted the following month to purchase the lot with a small residence next to Buss Stop for $65,000.
The county intends for the sheriff’s department to use the building for evidence storage, as the result of a space shortage in the current facility.
The board and Sheriff Millard Gustafson have discussed ways to use the building to its full potential, including using the coolers to store blood, DNA and urine.
Another idea the county considered was using the existing fuel tanks to allow deputies to fill up patrol cars, which are currently filled at the highway department.
Board member Gary Lytle said using the pumps would come at a cost.
“The cost to set that up to be able to pump fuel was $18,730,” he said. “The reason for that is the pumps that the Buss Stop had did not have the card readers in the dispensers themselves. Everything was from the point of sale inside. So in order to have anything at the pumps out there for the sheriff’s department to be able to pull up, swipe a card and be able to fuel up, you got to put a terminal out there. That’s the reason you have this expense you have to have that pedestal out there with a computer and all the brains and everything.”
Lytle said the county could save money over the initial estimate by having deputies go into the building to swipe a card before filling up, though it would still cost the county money to set up the equipment and be less convenient.
Most board members said the best option is to have deputies continue filling patrol vehicles at the highway department as they have been.
“I don’t see spending $18,000-$19,000 over there when we are already able to do it down at the highway department,” Board Chairman Myron Dorn said.
The county’s next step regarding the property is to look into decommissioning the tanks. It was stated at the meeting that this isn’t something the highway department can do, and the board will seek cost estimates from companies for the decommissioning.
The board hired Terracon Consultants of Omaha in November to perform the study in support of acquisition of the Buss Stop. The study was to include a search for possible hazardous substances or petroleum products.