July 31, 2008

Courthouse Roof to Get Band-Aid While Commission Works to Fund Needed Overhaul

While its a bit expensive for the tastes of the Scotland County Commission, the group agreed that the cost of failing to place what they call a band-aid on the courthouse roof are too high to risk further damage.

The Commission is in the process of contracting locally for temporary repair on the roof to prevent further water leaks that have caused ceiling damage in the circuit courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse as well as water damage to the carpet in the courtroom.

With more costly permanent repairs looming in the near future, the commission had indicated a desire to avoid wasting money on such a band-aid approach, but ultimately agreed to do so after the abnormally wet spring and summer generated additional problems.

Unfortunately review of the roof situation by a number of contractors have all resulted in highly expensive diagnosis, calling for major roof renovations and repairs.

The county currently is awaiting preliminary designs from architect Michael Kettlekamp of Hannibal for possible options to resolve the problem.

Preliminary estimates from contractors that reviewed the courthouse roof led to estimates ranging between $100,000 to $250,000.

The commission is currently considering the temporary repairs that will cost the county $3,000 plus materials.

The county is considering pursuing a joint effort with the Scotland County Community Betterment Committee for a preservation grant that could help fund roof repairs. The committee is currently raising money for the restoration of the courthouse clock housed in the roof dome. The committee has raised $19,000 of the estimated $50,000 for the project.

The courthouse roof issue came to light last week during the commissioners meeting with the Scotland County Extension Council.

During that meeting, the commissioners announced plans for a sales tax proposal for the November ballot. The issue will seek an additional 0.25-cent law enforcement sales tax hike that is expected to generate approximately $100,000 annually to offset expenses currently being funded for law enforcement out of the countys general revenue fund.

The revenue increase is being pledged to fund the extension service but also would create approximately $75,000 that could be used for other expenses.

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