Thursday, May 18, 2017 - Updated: 2:13 PMThe Massac County Courthouse renovation project will soon have $250,000 additional dollars after action taken by Massac County Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting, approving an intergovernmental agreement with the Massac County Hospital District.
Massac County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Stratemeyer brought the agreement to Commissioners Jerel Childers and Jayson Farmer to explain the details of the agreement. Commissioner Jeff Weber was absent from the meeting.
Before the appropriation of the funds is made, the county has agreed to preconditions, which begin on page three of the six-page agreement. The county will provide the hospital with a copy of its most recent audit and current budget. The agreement also states the county will provide a plan detailing the work to be performed in the restoration project at the courthouse and in returning the displaced offices to the courthouse. According to the agreement, the plan shall include a timetable and cost estimates that have been prepared within 90 days of the agreement.
In addition the county is to provide a written plan detailing the additional maintenance or repair projects needed and planned for the courthouse to maintain its viability for its intended use and should include a timetable, cost estimates and a financing plan for such work.
There will have to be a written five-year plan demonstrating the financial ability of the county to meet its ongoing operation and maintenance costs; including approved commitments to specific cuts to operational costs needed to demonstrate the ability to fund any debts incurred for courthouse renovation.
If the county successfully meets the preconditions, the hospital will appropriate and make available to the county $250,000 to reimburse the county for the costs of the restoration projects.
Stratemeyer told the commissioners Hospital Board Chairman Paul Henry had already executed the agreement on behalf of the hospital board. Farmer made the motion approve the agreement as it was presented, with Childers seconding the motion, which passed with both commissioners voting in favor of it.
On a related subject, Tuesday morning’s agenda had included appointments to the hospital board. However, in the absence Weber, after some discussion, Childers decided not to make the appointments until next week’s meeting when Weber can be in attendance.
Massac County Treasurer Dana Angelly brought the weekly financial report, which indicated a general fund balance of $68,197. She said that about $103,000 was paid in bills, including a few of the larger claims Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder had mentioned to the board at last week’s meeting.
Farmer asked Angelly if the claims have been paid for work that has been done at the courthouse annex courtroom and she said it has not.
Childers said he had talked to Massac County Judge Joe Jackson about the work that has been done. According to Childers, the jury box has already been moved and additional modifications have been made to the judge’s bench. The county will pay $1800 for those changes, not including material.
Work has not begun on an 8-foot wall the judge wants that would extend to the back of the courtroom, making the entrance at the back of the room, instead of at the front.
Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder said an air conditioning unit at the courthouse annex is leaking because the pan under the unit is rusted and there is a hole. He has been told the unit will have to be lifted up and a pan fabricated for the unit at an estimated $750.
Farmer had contacted another heating and air conditioning company about getting a second estimate. That contractor said he would not be able to inspect the unit until Thursday. Childers agreed with Farmer that the county should get a second opinion regarding the unit.
Gary Hamm, Massac County supervisor of assessments presented the bids he had received for the demolition of three properties the county purchased, following the 2011 flood. Bids were received from Mott Excavating in the amount of $49,000 and from Freeman Environmental Services Inc., in the amount of $16,500. A motion was made by Farmer and seconded by Childers to accept the bid from Freeman Environmental Services.
Hamm said he would send letters to both bidders and follow up with the winning bidder by phone to discuss details about the demolition project.
Payden Harned, the energy coordinator for Cape Electric, visited the board meeting to discuss the county’s eligibility for an Ameren rebate. Harned said his company has been working on the exterior lighting with Harrah’s Metropolis Casino’s parking lot.
According to Harned, governments, schools, churches and businesses may qualify for the Ameren rebate - everything except for residential. He told Farmer and Childers he would do an audit of all of the county’s buildings, at no cost, and then provide a report to the board on what kind of cost savings the county could receive.
Childers made a list of the various county-owned buildings, including the Regional Office of Education building, Massac County Highway Department, Massac County Detention Center, the courthouse and the courthouse annex. Harned will conduct the audit next week.