Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Courthouse roof cost rises to $1.36M

Reserve fund could be tapped to complete project


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County Commission agreed Tuesday to allocate up to $1.36 million to rebuild the roof on the 130-year-old County Courthouse building in Hailey, about $500,000 more than was anticipated two years ago to complete the project.
    The commission discussed searching for other expenses in the county budget that could be deferred or removed, or dipping into a reserve fund to build the roof.
    “This is critically important to the safety of the building,” said County Administrator Derek Voss at a meeting Tuesday in Hailey. “The structure is in desperate need of renovation.
    The commission accepted bids totaling $1.1 million for construction, mechanical and electrical work. In addition, the commission agreed to set aside $131,000 for dumpsters, construction site weather-protection gear and other expenses, $50,000 in contingency fees for unexpected costs, and $63,588 for project management under Kreizenbeck Constructors contracting company.
    Joe Saucerman, a representative of Kreizenbeck Constructors, said at the meeting that the high cost was due to the need to remove two separate ceilings in the building, about 5 feet apart, before re-building roof joists.
    Saucerman said the top of the brick walls of the three-story building had deteriorated more than expected.
    “The top three layers of brick are loose,” he said.
    Members of the County Commission discussed the possibility of reducing costs along the way.
    “We could re-use the lighting fixtures, rather than spending $60,000 on new lighting fixtures,” said Commissioner Jacob Greenberg. “We may also have to find other capital improvement and maintenance line items [to defer], or change the budget to do this. The alternative is to permanently vacate the building.”
    Construction is set to begin in July and finish in November.
    The county commissioners’ and county administrator’s offices have been moved to the County Annex building across First Street. The clerk’s and indigent services’ offices are in the Judicial Building behind the old courthouse. The Recorder’s Office is in the large trailer in the Judicial Building parking lot. The Operations Office is in the small trailer in the parking lot.
    A fence has been erected around the building during construction.
    County records have been left in their vaults. Public access to them is available by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. Call 788-5505 for an appointment.
Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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