LIMA — Since the county’s levy to raise $35 million for capital improvement projects through an increase in the sales tax failed at the ballot, Allen County Commissioners have been considering how to extend the life of the buildings they have.
During their Thursday morning meeting, commissioners approved a bevy of resolutions meant to breathe life into aging county buildings. They include entering into multiple contracts with Mark Lecky Architects, of Columbus, for design services for three different projects — a partial roof replacement at the Allen County Engineer’s Office, the creation of a reception area on the first floor of the 3rd District Court of Appeals building and an addition for the Allen County Dog Warden’s Office.
“Basically this is ‘Plan B,’” Allen County Commissioner Jay Begg said. “These projects have to happen.”
Begg said commissioners had been waiting to act on the roof of the engineer’s office until after voters decided if they wanted to fund the construction of a new Allen County Engineer’s Office building through a sales tax. But now that the original capital improvement plan is off the table, they have started pursuing their secondary option — replacing the roof and planning for the long-haul.
Similarly, the Allen County Board of Election’s office, which currently is located in the basement of the 3rd District Court of Appeals building, may have found space in the county’s formerly planned office building. Today, commissioners are moving that office to the first floor. The designs for a planned reception area that commissioners approved would create a space with restrooms and a counter that would serve the public.
The move would also make the Board of Elections more accessible. By using the door recently installed on the side of the building, the Board of Elections will be able to be accessed by handicapped and senior individuals without having to use the building’s elevator, which has needed repairs in the past.
In related news, Allen County Commissioners also authorized a contract between Veterans Memorial Civic Center and Scenic Solutions, LLC, in order to renovate the lighting system in Crouse Performance Hall.
Both the lighting updates and the addition to the Allen County Dog Warden’s Office do not require any funds from the county’s general fund to proceed. Begg said both projects have been paid out of the revenues raised by those entities.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.