Budget conference: House, Senate agree on Baker County courthouse generator funding
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Electrical outlet with black power cord
The project should be completed by the end of the year.

Electrifying news has emerged from the early round of budget conferences.

The House and the Senate have agreed to spend $250,000 on a new generator for the Baker County Courthouse, fulfilling a long-needed infrastructural need.

The Local Funding Infrastructure Request notes “this building is not serviced by a generator” currently. With “thousands of users accessing online data every single day,” the expectation is that it will help people throughout the area.

“During loss of power, all County Offices, except the Sheriff’s Office, cannot function due to the Courthouse being the main IT hub for Baker County. The installation of a generator will allow resiliency to all County offices during inclement weather, increasing our efficiency to the citizens of Baker County.”

Baker County received $2.8 million in pandemic funding for a “countywide 911 Communications system update, including dispatch center and all new radio equipment, construction of a new fire station, roof replacement to the library, recreation improvements,” so this money will continue a state investment in the Jacksonville-adjacent county.

The generator is expected to be installed no later than December of this year, and the project is expected to include “minimal rewiring.”

The generator has been a long-dormant wish list item for years.

Back in 2018, Baker County released an invitation to bid on the project, looking to keep costs under $120,000, less than half of the agreed upon allocation.

Budget conference subcommittees will meet throughout the week to resolve differences in each area. When remaining issues reach an impasse, they will be “bumped” to the full budget conference committee.

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on a final spending plan by May 2 to meet the 72-hour “cooling off” period required by the state constitution before they can vote on the budget to avoid pushing the Regular Session past its scheduled May 5 end date.

Staff Reports


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