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Exterior work Needed on Courthouse

“We need to do some work on the exterior of the courthouse,” said Gary Mast at Monday’s county commissioner meeting. Mast said that there are 60 windows that need to be replaced at an estimated cost of $46,000; the boiler system needs to be replaced at an estimated cost of $40,000 and the exterior needs to be completely gone over with approximately 300 bricks to replace. The exterior needs to be “tuck pointed”; and the masonry work around the windows repaired and or replaced. The window sills need to be replaced. “Much of the masonry is deteriorating,” he said.

In addition the fieldstone foundation needs to be power washed and mortar joints repaired. Air leaks around door openings need to be caulked and the previously painted metal on the courthouse dome needs to be repainted.

Mast said that the cost estimate is $120,000 plus the new boiler and windows. Commissi-oners questioned whether or not the whole project needs to be packaged and bid or whether it can be done in parts utilizing the state allowed quote system. Mast was advised to contact County Attorney Kurt Bachman for guidance on this question.

“You will also want to include this in your 2014 budget when it is presented to county council,” said Jac Price, commissioner chairman.

Mast noted that the list he presented does not include the repair and/or replacement of the four cupolas at the top of the building. “One of these is now leaking and every time it rains we have water leaking into the Circuit Courtroom,” he continued. Estimated cost to fix this problem is $10,000.

Aaron Knisley asked commissioners for approval of a request from Elkhart County to affix a radio signal repeater on the county owned tower on the Bob-O-Lou Farm located in the extreme northwest corner of the county. This will enhance radio coverage in the northeast corner of Elkhart County for Elkhart County officers who often assist LaGrange County officers when incidents occur in that area.

Knisley also asked permission for out-of-county travel for three dispatchers to attend a training seminar at High Point, NC. The CAD vendor for the county is upgrading software on the local radio system and it is necessary for local 911 workers to be trained. Cost for the three dispatchers will be $2920 for four days.

Commissioners approved both requests.

Robert Murphy, information technology director, reported to commissioners that the new county website should be up and running by the end of the week. The new public website, as well as the internal website available only to county employees, have been under construction since early this year. Out-of-pocket costs will be under $7,000, according to Murphy.

Murphy also requested permission to purchase both a full-size I-pad, at a cost of $499, and a mini I-pad, at a cost of $297, for the county extension office. There is sufficient money in the extension budget for the purchase, and commissioners approved.

Commissioners announced staff meetings for Aug. 15 and Aug. 29. The staff meetings, as well as regular meetings, are open to the public.