Overmyer said last year the county council agreed to earmark $1 million in the Rainy-Day Fund for renovations of the clocktower. When the project was bid, there were six alternates which included work on the entire courthouse. The additional projects were painting the architectural elements, soffit and fascia improvements, new joint sealants around the doors and windows and the column bases, installation of new storm windows on the courthouse and repair of the limestone and masonry cleaning.
With the 150 anniversary of the courthouse next year, the commissioners decided they should move forward with all the alternates while contractor Midwest Maintenance from Piqua, OH is on site.
Former county commissioner Kurt Garner helped the county receive a IDNR grant in 2019 that paid for an assessment of the courthouse. He also gave a brief history of the courthouse saying construction began in 1870 and was completed and dedicated in 1872. The construction cost was $110,000. A renovation project was completed in 1913 at a cost of $30,000.
The total cost of the project including the six alternates is $1,496,935. While the initial additional request was going to be $500,000; the county council appropriated $600,000 to allow for overruns or unforeseen issues that can happen with a 150-year-old building.
New council member, Jesse Bohannon asked where the additional funds would come from and County Auditor Julie Fox said from the Rainy-Day Fund. Bohannon asked if the Local Income Tax could fund the additional since it is part of the criminal justice system. Fox said she would have to research that. Council members voted unanimously to approve the $600,000 additional appropriation out of the Rainy-Day Fund.