Board approves impaired hearing technology at new justice center

Published 7:05 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Mower County Board of commissioners approved a change order of $7,816 to the budget of the Mower County Jail and Justice Center construction for technology that assists people with impaired hearing in the court rooms.

The money will be used for transmitters that collect sound from the speaker system in the court house and sends it to six receivers. People with trouble hearing can use the receivers to help hear the court proceedings.

Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said the current court rooms have a similar system, but it’s an older, less efficient system. Technology for people with difficulty hearing is important for the elderly, she said.

“Especially with our aging population, it is a necessary piece of equipment,” she said.

Another change order to the jail and justice center project may go before the board in the coming weeks. The board could approve a change order to install hand driers instead of hand towel units.

The additional cost would be about $12,272 for eight hand driers in bathrooms and staff locker rooms in the jail. One hand drier would be used in the two public restrooms downstairs, the four public restrooms upstairs and two staff locker rooms.

While it’s an additional cost now, Mower County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said it would cost more to install them later because it’d be additional work.