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Commissioners Share Concerns About Courthouse With Council Members

Last updated on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Commission Bill Spreen presented two bids on the tuck pointing and cleaning of the limestone at the Lawrence County courthouse at the County Council meeting Tuesday night.

Spreen says something needs to be done because the building is deteriorating.

He shared with the council that commissioners have received several complaints about the stone on the building turning black and the general appearance of the building.

"Since Bedford is the limestone capital of the world it doesn't look good for the county," Spreen added.

The two bids range from $78,000 to $90,000 just for the tuck pointing and cleaning.

Spreen says the roof is leaking and the windows will also need repaired and because the courthouse is a historical building it will an expensive project. The courthouse has 104 windows that will need to be repaired or replaced.

"We are looking at $600,000 to a million dollars to do the windows and that is frightening," Spreen says. "But we have to do something, the windows and the air conditioning units hanging out are an eyesore. Some are just hanging in there."

The commissioners would like to see the work started this summer.

Council member Keith Dillman has some concerns about the cost of the project and where the money will come to complete it.

"I would like to see a master list of the project that needs to be completed...with items prioritized," Dillman said. "I would just feel more comfortable about this, if I had that and saw the thought process. I am also concerned with where we will get the money to do these projects."

Commission Dave Flinn told the council that the courthouse was the only project that needs attention at the moment and that was the commissioner's priority.

Spreen told the council they would like to see the work started this summer.

In other business the council:

* Veteran's Affairs Director Bill Baker thanked the commissioners and council members for the purchase of a new printer. Council President Jim Edwards thanked Baker and his staff for all the work they do for the veterans and the county.

* Approved Lawrence County Superior Court II Judge William Sleva asked to hire a new baliff/clerk.

* Approved a request from Prosecutor Michelle Woodward to transfer $3,942.49 from the pretrial diversion to victim assist to pay for Diane Reynolds salary.

* Approved an additional appropriation of $17,100 to renovate the office beside the Public Defender's office in Dunn Plaza. Chief Public Defender Lorinda Youngcourt says the use of the building will not cost the county anything and the state would reimburse the county for the use.

* Approved an additional appropriation of $80,000 for the completion of Bridge 20, north of Needmore. Project director Bob Dillion says the bridge should be done by June 8th.

* Approved an additional appropriation of $120,539.10 for the highway department to do paving.

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