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County to expand road shop

"There is no more room at Island County's South Whidbey road shop.No room for one more person to sit in the lunchroom to eat a brown bag lunch. No room to park county maintenance trucks, which remain partially outdoors during the winter because the sanders and snow plows attached to them make them too long to close the garage doors.This spring, the county plans to solve the space problem at the road shop by putting a $100,000, 1,300-square-foot addition onto the building. Myron Gabelein, the road shop's supervisor, said the new space will add 16 feet to the back of the shop, making more room for the shop's 15 employees in the lunch and meeting room, and making it possible for maintenance truck drivers to close the garage doors behind their vehicles.Along with the new addition, the road shop will also receive a new generator. While the shop has had a number of small generators in the past, Gabelein said the new generator will be a larger machine and will be able to run most of the road shop's equipment during a power outage, allowing road crews to better respond during storms and other emergencies.County Commssioner Mike Shelton said the road shop has become a center of activity during weather-related emergencies not only for county personnel, but for Puget Sound Energy crews. The extra power will ensure that all those workers will be able to do their jobs.It's kind of becoming a center in times of emergency, Shelton said. The shop is located off HIghway 525 next to Bayview Senior Center.Planning for the expansion started last summer. The Island County Board of Commissioners approved the expense as part of its 2000 budget.Shelton said he expects that construction on the expansion will start in March."

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