OTTAWA — Renovations to Putnam County courthouse will begin July 22, and a fairground water pipe project began Wednesday.
The $1.3 million courthouse renovation project will be funded using money the county has saved that is in its capital investments budget. The project includes replacing the courthouse roof, starting on the east side. It will take three weeks to work around the courthouse.
“It is a tile roof that was put on in 1913 and it is staring to leak, and it’s time to upgrade to keep the courthouse in good shape,” said Vincent Schroeder, commissioner.
The handicapped ramp will be moved to the east side of the courthouse from the north side to make it more accessible and create one entrance at the courthouse to assist with courthouse security.
The courthouse facade will be repaired, reinforced, sealed and cleaned.
“We have one of the nicest courthouses in the state, built in 1913, and with that age if you want to keep it up for generations to come you have to invest money in it,” Schroeder said. The project also included installing a new elevator at the courthouse in March.
Commissioner Michael Lammers said it is critically important to keep what he described as one of the oldest and most prestigious buildings in the county in shape for the future.
“This project should give us a viable facility for at least 50 years down the road,” Lammers said. He said the county is trying to get the best value for the tax payers.
A fairgrounds water pipe project began Wednesday with Knueven Earthworks, of Columbus Grove, with new water mains and fire hydrants being installed on the south and west end of the fairgrounds and around the merchants building.
“We have a lot of breaks and repairs in the water pipes, and they had to be drained every year,” Schroeder said. There will be grass planted over the pipes this fall.
Lammers said the county made a commitment to map the undocumented lines.
“A year and a half ago we hired a contractor to document where the infrastructure was located and repaired the most critical items,” Lammers said. He said there was leakage in the water system that was repaired last year. This year’s goal is to get the water lines to a wider range of buildings and bury the water lines so there are not issues.
“Just like the courthouse, we are always trying to look 25 to 30 years ahead for the projects,” Lammers said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.