Several maintenance projects on scheduled for the 2007-09 time frame at the Mental Health Institute, according to Business Manager Tony Morris. Speaking at the quarterly Citizen's Advisory Board meeting on Friday, Morris said that remodeling of the MHI kitchen is now under way, along with remodeling three more wards on the South side of the main building for the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders.
The CCUSO program now has 60 residents, and they expect that number to continue to grow, so they want to assure that they have adequate housing.
Another project will be the installation of a new water and sewer system. Although the new water and sewer project has been planned for some time, the recent announcement is certainly timely, coinciding with an announcement of a water leak which caused a $45,000 water bill last month. The leak had gone unnoticed or unreported, and the new system will have a different meter location, which should enable MHI officials to be more aware of water levels, and avoid similar costly situations in the future.
Other projects include enclosing the stairwells on the outside of the Donahoe Building, upgrading the telephone system and Air Conditioning, and various other projects. Morris distributed a list of the projects, and there are ten which should be completed by 2009 - dependent, of course, on legislated budgeting.
An energy audit has been completed, and the auditing body recommended that MHI use a pellet-burning boiler (pellets comprised of landfill refuse).
MHI has also been told that the facility is an ideal location for the location of a wind turbine, and they plan to look into this possibility.
It was also announced that MHI has decided to no longer provide daily transportation to-and-from Rockwell City for the inmate labor program due to the cost of vehicle maintenence and fuel. They have been performing this service for ten years. They will continue to make use of the inmate labor program for special projects only.