OTTAWA — The Putnam County Commissioners are beginning to weigh options on renovating the Putnam County Courthouse.
Kevin Niese, project manager and firm partner for Technicon Design Group Inc. provided the commissioners with a rough estimate of $941,000 with a $141,000 contingency fee to the complete outdoor and indoor project, during a meeting with Commissioner Michael Lammers, Administrator Jackson Betscher and Putnam County Maintenance Supervisor Tim Schnipke.
Commissioners John Love and Vincent Schroeder were not able to attend the meeting, said Lammers.
The major project they would like to complete is replacing the broken tiles on the courthouse roof and laying a Duro-Last membrane on the flat section of the roof, where tile cannot be placed, Lammers said.
There are different options available to the commissioners for purchasing and installing the membrane. They can go through a Duro-Last sales representative, Bryan Gottron, who contracts through the TIPS-USA program. TIPS provides government agencies, like the commissioners, with materials for construction projects at a set price so contractors can not overcharge, said Niese.
If they chose to work with Gottron, he would come to the courthouse and give an estimate on the Duro-Last section of the roof project, which is all he would do, said Betscher. The commissioners could open bidding to different contractors based on the estimate Gottron gave or give him the project to do.
Lammers said he would rather see a local contractor do the project.
“I believe a local vendor could do the same job for a better cost,” he said.
Niese said it would be in the best interest of the taxpayers to do the project all at once instead of break it up into different phases. The outdoor section of the project would consist of laying the membrane on the flat section of roof, removing some of the skylights, replacing the tile with new tiles, fixing the building facade, fixing the gutters and lining them with copper and finally building a new ramp at the courthouse main entrance, as well as cleaning the building.
If the only thing the commissioners did was pay to place the membrane, the tiles would still continue leaking and the water overflowing the gutters would continue to erode the facade, Betscher said. The best option is to do all the outdoor work at once and later evaluate when the indoor work could be paid for, he said.
“This is the community’s courthouse,” Betscher said. “If we spend the money now to fix it properly it’s entirely possible it will still be here when their grandchildren are grown. It’s more cost effective to do this maintenance work then it is to build an entirely new building.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362