Warren County’s planned morgue has bypassed another potential roadblock.
The morgue was originally to be located beside the billing office off Omni Drive. However, after having the official land survey done, it was discovered that a wedge-shaped piece of land on Omni Drive was in ownership limbo, not being owned by the city or county. If built in the originally planned location, a few feet of the morgue and parking area would fall into this no-man’s land.
With the looming completion date of July 1, 2015, county safety coordinator David Britton and the architect had no choice but to change the location of the morgue.
Said Britton, “When we started looking at the timing involved in trying to get that narrow piece of property transferred or deeded to us and then going through variances with the city, we got too time constrained. So the architect went back and took a look at our survey and now has proposed an alternate location.”
The new location is about 80 feet away from the originally proposed location and is behind the billing office. The new site required the least amount of dirt work and will stand well away from other buildings, which will help any odor and other potential issues. Plans for the building itself remain the same.
A value engineer has been employed to review the site and building to ensure the project remains under budget and nothing is spent that doesn’t need to be. According to Britton, the engineer is confident the morgue will stay under budget in the new location.
Britton expects to start taking bid packages soon, saying, “We’ve gotten over these hurdles here and feel like we’ve got everything out of the way now to put the bid specs together and get ready for some bid packages in the early part of the year and get us lined up and ready to go as soon as the weather is fit to start.”
A completion date of June 1, 2015 is the goal. River Park Hospital will stop taking the county’s deceased as of July 1.