The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners continued work Thursday to scale down the size and price of an extension office to be built at the 4-H fairgrounds.

The vision for the project, which started two years ago, is to house the extension and soil and water conservation office workers under one roof.

Bret Dodd of RQAW, an architectural and design company, presented a new set of plans, which included a 3,000-square-foot building that would carry a hard construction cost of between $316,000 and $342,000 - but that does not include soft costs for interior needs such as furniture.

The proposal included a number of alternates, which allows room for the county to further tweak the plans, especially for materials.

RQAW went back to the drawing board earlier this month after being asked by the County Council to scrap designs for a 4,700-square-foot building that was considered too expensive.

Dodd said he again met with the extension office workers and the soil and water workers to show them that the revised plan still offers more square footage than both offices currently use.

"For the most part, the one thing I wanted to do was to make sure to give them something equal or better than what they have now," Dodd said.

Council Council member Larry Wynn, who was attending Thursday's meeting, said the primary issue has been getting the hard construction cost of the project lowered.

He and the commissioners said they could work around the soft costs, partly because the county already owns some of the materials and fixtures that would be needed.

The commissioners took the designs under advisement to allow time for the County Council to review the plans at its next meeting on April 9.

Before the project begins, the land must be surveyed to obtain a lease because the property belongs to the fair board.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners discussed an ordinance that would fine those who operate motorized vehicles outside of designated areas on county property.

Commissioners president Tom Pietrykowski said for the second year in a row, the dam and land around Krueger Lake have received substantial damage from four-wheelers and other vehicles.

Pietrykowski said the county estimated the most recent damage will cost about $2,800 to fix.

"(The parks board) asked us if we can do anything to make it stop, and I think we should," Pietrykowski said.

County Wil Goering read a rough draft of an ordinance that included a fine of no more than $500 and a possible forfeiture of the vehicle for those caught damaging county property.

The commissioners said the sheriff's department has increased patrols in the problem areas, but added that the county needs an ordinance with more teeth as a deterent.

The commissioners will continue to work on the language of the ordinance.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners announced that County Engineer Jim Olson will retire at the end of the month.

Olson has worked for the County Highway Department for 15 years.

In other business:

• The commissioners approved a contract with former surveyor Bill Pettitt for section corner maintenance.

Surveyor Jeff Daghir said that Pettit and Associates raised its rates from $120 to $140 an hour this year. Daghir said he changed some of the language in the contract to make sure that all work is first approved through the surveyor's office for budget purposes.

Daghir said the county approves the maintenance of about 10 section corners each year.

Pettitt is the only licensed surveyor in the county, and state statute mandates that the county must contract through a certified surveyor within the county.

• The commissioners accepted a bid from Terry's Asphalt Material and Inc. of Hamilton, Ohio, for liquid asphalt. The company will offer liquid asphalt for $1.86 a gallon.

For dust control, the commissioners approved a bid from Great Lakes Chloride at .94 cents per gallon for calcium chloride.

• The commissioners passed a proclamation to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Prosecutor Chad Lewis presented the proclamation to the commissioners and gained permission to place pinwheels on the Courthouse lawn from March 31 to April 7 for awareness.

On April 16 at 7 p.m., Lewis said there also will be a community candlelight ceremony at the Broadway Fountain.

• Pietrykowski read a note from Sheriff John Wallace, who reported that the third floor of the jail renovation project will be finished in mid-April.