The Marion County Board has agreed to award a $129,710 bid to Mason’s Masonry Restoration, Inc to complete restoration work on the Marion County Courthouse once financing is finalized.
Building Committee Chair Dr. Creighton Engel pushed for the work on the terracotta portion of the courthouse in the area just below the roof to be completed as quickly as possible due to the deteriorating condition.
“It is irreplaceable. What has happened, the mortar is falling out of the mortar joints and the glazing on the tile has eroded. A lot of the terracotta is basically deteriorating. It is at a point now that a lot of this will have to be reglazed chemical to save it. Some tuckpointing will have to be redone to replace some of the mortar joints. All the work has to be done by hand. You cannot use power tools on it because you will destroy it.”
Engel says if the board allows the terracotta to crumble into pieces they will have to look at a more expensive replacement that would not protect the authenticity of the now more than 100-year-old building.
The board also agreed to have renovations completed to the small third-floor courtroom at a cost of $7,000 to $7,500 to improve the layout for court hearings. The work will be done at no cost to the county.
Culbertson Heating and Air was hired to perform semi-annual maintenance on the air conditioning systems at the jail and public service at a cost of $2,000 per visit. Engel said he would work on a contract to maintain the new heating and cooling system at the courthouse.
In other action, the board approved the hiring of a fully grant-funded pretrial probation officer. The officer will complete pre-bond reports and other duties with prisoners at the courthouse. Court Administrative Services Rene Pride says a line probation officer has been pulled to do the work resulting in larger caseloads for the remaining officers.
The board made several reappointments to boards. John Gaston, Andy Garden, Greg Earle, Mike Squibb, and Brian Atchison were all reappointed to the Marion County 911 Board. Judith Meeks-Hakim, Connie Cavaletto, and Bill Henson were reappointed to the 708 Mental Health Board. Paula Strothers was reappointed to the Marion County Health Department Board.