Courthouse repairs open commissioners meeting

Times Observer photo by Dave Ferry Multiple infrastructure projects are underway at the Warren County Courthouse that include parking lot repair, jail locking mechanisms, signage, slate roof repair and elevators at the courthouse and jail. A contract to to install a sidewalk on the western side of the building was also awarded at Wednesday’s meeting of the county commissioners.

Courthouse infrastructure was the focus of Wednesday’s Warren County Commissioner’s meeting.

The first item was a $48,494 award to Huber Blacktop for repairs to the courthouse parking lot.

“I look forward to getting this project done,” Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said, describing the lot as “in a state of repair.”

He said work will include “taking some of the more difficult patches, dig them out and redo them” and added that it should assist with the drainage of the lot.

That contract passed 2-0 with Commissioner Cindy Morrison abstaining, citing a family conflict.

The second item included multiple agreements and a resolution to finalize financing with First Internet Bank for several projects at the courthouse in addition to those covered by energy savings through ABM.

Chief Clerk Pam Matve said the projects covered by this $1.18 million in funding include jail locking mechanisms, signage, slate roof repair and elevators at the courthouse and jail.

Eggleston noted the total and explained that the annual payment will be less than $150,000 which is “equivalent” to what the county has been spending on replacing equipment, such as HVAC, annually at the courthouse.

Because of that, he said, he views this project as revenue neutral.

Those items also passed 2-1 with Morrison voting in opposition.

A contract was also awarded for a new sidewalk.

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said that the sidewalk would be constructed on the western side of the courthouse.

“Currently, there is no walkway,” he said. With single point of entry at the Fifth Ave. entrance, he added that it is “important that we put this sidewalk in so people are not walking in the middle of the parking lot to get back to single point of entry.”

The contract, totaling just over $130,000, was awarded to Carl E. Swanson & Sons, Inc. of Bradford.

Kafferlin noted that the sidewalk was “one thing (our) insurance company identified as risk” and said that “fiscal went after grants to cover the cost.”

This item also passed 2-1 with Morrison voting in opposition.

The remaining item up for consideration on Wednesday was a follow-up grant application to the state for reimbursement of expenses as part of the state’s Early Intervention Program.

Kafferlin said the state “partially awarded that application with resources they had left in the previous fiscal year” but noted the county’s initial request “was not fully funded.”

He said the goal of the applications are “largely to replace the fiscal software (and) get the Fiscal office in shipshape.”

“(I’m) very pleased to see the state awarded us 90 percent reimbursement. (We’re) getting an excellent bang for our buck,” he said, noting Wednesday’s action is “reauthorizing the use of those funds to go after the money again.”

That item also passed in a 2-1 vote with Morrison in opposition.