(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners signed a contract with Architura to begin phase one on plans to renovate the courthouse.
Architura's Michael Conley told the commissioners this will allow the commissioners to get some concrete numbers on how much it will cost to replace the 102 windows in the courthouse and find an alternative to the old window air conditioning units.
The first phase of the project would cost the county $30,000.
During the past several months Architura has unveiled designs for renovations of the courthouse's steel frame windows and the antiquated heating and cooling system. The initial cost of the project was estimated at $2.25 million. Conley also offered a scaled back option estimated at $1.9 million.
In November the Lawrence County Council announced a disbursement of proceeds from the sale of Dunn Memorial Hospital to St. Vincent Hospital. The disbursement committee recommended $1 million be allotted to the renovation project. Another $800,000 in cumulative capital funds are available and additional dollars could come from the economic development fund, with the county making payments back into the fund.
In other business:
* Lawrence County Highway Superintendent Dave Holmes presented the commissioners with the total cost of snow removal for the county this year. The county spent $54, 555 for material such as salt, sand and ash to put on the roadway, $37,120 in fuel to push the snow from the roadways and $17,000 in overtime hours for a total of $108,675.
He also added crews are cold patching roadway, adding stone to gravel roadways, replacing culverts and doing shoulder work in Salt Creek Bottoms. He also will be accepting bids soon for paving work on county roads.
Holmes says Donnie Fleetwood had retired and his replacement Richard Henderson was now on the payroll.
Commissioner Dave Flinn publicly thanked Fleetwood for his years of service.
"He has served at road foreman in District 3 since I began as commissioner," Flinn says. "And Richard Henderson is a sharp young man and I know he will really help our district with his experience."
Henderson has worked at Omar Paving and was a supervisor at Rogers Group.
* County Project Director Bob Dillon says Dunn Bridge in Heltonville is moving forward. Crews are currently finishing up work on the bridge and working on erosion control by placing rock. The beams will be set by Monday and they will be preparing to pour the deck. Crews are still looking at a May completion date, weather permitting.
* Sheriff Sam Craig reported there were 131 inmates at the jail, of those 19 are women and 21 Department of Correction holds. Craig told the commissioners that in 2012 the county earned $167,615 for holding DOC inmates. For the months of January and February the county earned the county earned $29,230.
* Emergency Management Director Valarie Luchauer reported progress is being made in the agreement for ambulance service in Lawrence County. The county has had problems with ambulances being available for emergency runs.
* The county signed an agreement to upgrade their internet service. The county will increase their service to 20 megabytes. The county currently pays $270 a month for 4MB. They will now pay $40 per megabyte.
*Kenneth Goben requested the commissioners vacate several roadways in Lawrenceport. The roads were plated but never developed and Goben has since bought the land where the roadways were to be developed. The commissioners are having county engineer Bob Dillon look at the roads because several of the residents are upset by Goben's request and say it will restrict them from getting to their property. Dillon will report back to the commissioners at the next meeting.
*County Clerk Myron Rainey asked to hire a part-time temporary employee to fill in while Rose Cummings is on leave.
*Commissioner Bill Spreen asked the crowd if anyone wanted to ask questions or address the commissioners and Bedford resident Sam Shaw did.
He read a written statement he prepared about the violation of his first amendment rights. He also shared his concerns that he is not allowed at the Bedford Public Library.
After he was finished Commissioner President Bill Spreen told the crowd that individuals could ask questions and voice concerns about what happened in the meeting, but not about issues that were not discussed during the meeting.
He advised residents that if they had an issue they needed to secure a time slot on the agenda.
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