OTTAWA — The Putnam County Commissioners voted to transfer $600,000 from the general fund into a capital improvement fund, which is used for planned and unplanned projects on county run buildings.
With the additional $600,000 the capital improvement fund now has a little over $1.6 million available to be used for much needed interior and exterior courthouse maintenance, Commissioner John Love said.
Planned projects include tearing up the bubbling, improperly dried concrete on the center section of the courthouse roof; the removal of some skylights and maintenance of others; replacing the courthouse elevator; replacing roof tiles and gutters and improving the courthouse parking lot, Love and Commissioner Vincent Schroeder said. Commissioner Michael Lammers who was not in attendance,
Schroeder said there should be enough money in the capital improvement fund after the transfer to cover the estimated costs of all the work needed on the courthouse.
“Keep in mind estimates are just that,” Love said. “We will not know if we have enough money until the bids come in.”
The commissioners decided to begin the project with fixing up the center part of the courthouse rook, Schroeder said. At this time engineers are working on plans and costs for the project, Love said. After that is complete the commissioners will bid out the project.
“Our goal is to get as much done as we can before the end of the calender year,” Love said.
After the roof project is complete they will evaluated what project to work on next and move down the list, he said. They will not spend all of the funds in the capital improvement account though just because it’s there, he said. Instead, they will always keep enough in the account to cover any unforeseen problems that might arise, Love said.
Schroeder said if they ended up not having the money to do all of the projects on their list, the commissioners have the option to reactivate a 0.25 percent sales tax which had been lowered three or four years ago. That could be done by either adding the issue to the ballot in November or holding two public hearings.
Their goal is to finish the courthouse renovation work without borrowing money, Love said.
Putnam County is debt free and we plan to remain that way, Schroeder said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362
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