With a price tag coming in at more than half a million dollars, it might be hard for anyone to see a bargain, but that isn’t keeping the Scotland County Commission from feeling it has received a good deal to replace the roof on the courthouse.

The commission voted 3-0 to approve the bids for installation of a new roof and waterproofing of the existing bell tower at a combined cost of $568,893.

While the cost is obviously considerable, the commissioners praised the efforts of county clerk Batina Dodge to bring those numbers down as much as possible.

“I don’t think we say enough about her efforts,” said Presiding Commissioner Duane Ebeling. “It is safe to say that she saved us at least a couple hundred thousand dollars.”

The county clerk had helped the county secure the services of  Garland Design Build Solutions, Inc.

“I have been working through the Missouri Association of Counties searching for existing grant funding or other alternatives to help pay for the project,” said Dodge. “But while we are eligible for the national historical registry, we are not currently considered a historical site, so weren’t eligible for much help.”

However during these efforts Dodge learned about Garland BDS during work with the National Association of Counties.

“I was talking with a member of a county commission in Colorado and they told me about the company, and how they had been able to save over a million dollars on a similar project,” said Dodge.

She explained that Garland has gained a reputation through its U.S. Communities program for offering significant cost savings through the company’s national contracts.

Work is expected to begin in April on phase one, the removal of the old roof down to the wood deck.

“Three to four layers of old roofing material will be removed,” said Commissioner David Wiggins.

“This structure was built in 1908, and it’s our belief that every roof put on the courthouse is still up there,” said Ebeling.

That has led to significant maintenance issues in recent years.

“There are a lot of leaks,” said Wiggins. “We have been dumping buckets since the fall, and adding to the number of containers as more leaks spring up.”

Once the old material is gone, Shay Roofing, Inc. will install a new 2-ply solvent free ashpalt roofing before the surface is coated with Pyramic, a white, water-based, non-toxic, coating that extends the life cycle of the roof by preventing aging and deterioration due to UV damage.

The project will install new metal edge and 24 gauge galvanized steel coping cap on the parapet wall and columns.

The new roof will cost $257,946.

Phase two of the project will be performed by Staat, Inc., and will provide waterproofing of the bell tower and parapet walls and will also include re-glazing the windows in the tower.

Phase two will cost $310,947.

The project is expected to begin in April and conclude in July. Equipment requirements for the project likely will require half of one side of the city square to be closed to traffic.

The commission had budgeted $100,000 for the project last year and another $100,000 this year. The remaining costs will be funded through loans on tax anticipation notes over the next five to seven years.

The commission is also considering returning the dome on the bell tower to the gold color of the past.

“I know it was painted gold back in 1976, because the county purchased the paint through Dad’s lumber yard, and was tasked to go pick it up, and I was pretty excited about it because I had just turned 16,” said Commissioner Danette Clatt.

The commission is considering cost estimates for returning the dome to the gold color of the past.

The complete roof project comes with a minimum life expectancy of 40 years.

“A few years ago the county addressed drainage issues to secure the base of the courthouse and now it is addressing the roof situation,” said Dodge. “It now should be covered, top to bottom.”