During the County Commissioners meeting on Monday, it was noted that additional scaffolding has been added to the top of the Courthouse Clock Tower.  While the scaffolding has been up for about two months now, it didn’t go to the very top.  Apparently in the “fine print” of the contract it was listed but when the scaffolding company did the installation, they didn’t see it and had to return to add more so the very tip-top could be painted.     

Speaking on the project, Commission President Kevin Overmyer said Brian Stahl, a wood specialist from Midwest Maintenance should have numbers for the additional woodwork repair.  He said, “They are looking at it and everything from the top of the clock face down is going to have to be replaced.”   

A few weeks ago, it was brought to the county’s attention that much of the wood on the clock tower was rotten.  As workers were working to remove layers of old paint the issue came to light and seemed to grow in size.

Overmyer said the recommendation is to have wood from Germany or Belgium brought in to make the repairs.  He said, “That wood is long-lasting for at least 100 years.”  He said they will replicate everything including all the fancy woodwork so that it will look like it did when it was originally built.” 

It’s anticipated a special emergency meeting of the County Commissioners will be held next week to review the additional cost numbers.  Overmyer suggested inviting County Council members to the meeting so they can hear firsthand about the damages and repair process and additional cost.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger said once it is determined how much additional work and cost Midwest Maintenance will have to complete the project, he will amend the contract.

 Commissioner Overmyer said the 180 project “is out the window.”   It was estimated that Midwest would be able to complete the extra work by the 4th of July 2022. 

Overmyer said Midwest will work on the upper portion of the clock tower and remove that scaffolding on that portion but the scaffolding from the tops of the clock face will remain in place through the winter and into the spring to complete the project.  It was noted it would be cheaper to rent the scaffolding monthly than to have it taken down and put back up. 

There is still some discussion between the commissions on whether Special LIT funds could be used to cover the additional cost.  Commissioner Overmyer said he spoke to Rick Hall from Barnes and Thornberg, the Commissioner Association’s attorney about the use of the Special LIT funds.  His interpretation was that is would not be covered. 

Commissioner Stan Klotz said he had talked to Lori Rogers from the State Board of Accounts, and she said, “If it was interpreted by our attorney to fall within the language, because it does say other criminal justice facilities and those related to criminal justice could be included.”    

Commissioner Overmyer said he was most comfortable letting the attorney interpret it since he’s the one who specializes in interoperating law.  He continued, “The State Board of Accounts does their job by what the statute says.”  Overmyer said they would have to use Rainy Day Funds or monies in the General Fund for the additional money needed or a combination of both.