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Bell tower contract approved

Replacing the bell tower on the Clark County Courthouse will soon begin in earnest, before the bonds to finance the project are issued.

Wednesday morning, the Clark County Fiscal Court voted unanimously to approve the contract along with an interim contract to start the project.

Architect Margie Jacobs of Tate Hill Jacobs said the interim contract allows Structural Systems Repair Group to begin working, though the bonds have not been sold to finance the project. Jacobs said the interim contract allows the builders to spend up to $75,000 until the bonds are sold.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said the company can begin immediately, once the contracts are signed.

The project is expected to take several months to complete. The bell tower atop the courthouse has deteriorated over time to the point it leaks water into the courthouse any time it rains. It is also structurally unsound.

Jacobs said previously the tower will be removed and a temporary roof will be installed. Design and construction of the new tower will then take several months before it is ready to be installed.

Structural Systems submitted the winning bid of $751,015. An anonymous donor gave $21,194 through the Bluegrass Foundation to add gold leaf, which was an alternate on the bid, to the cupola.

The entire bond issue will be about $940,000 and include new breathing apparatus for the Clark County Fire Department and equipment for the county road department.

The fiscal court also approved the second reading of the property tax rates for fiscal year 2018. The current rates of 9.3 cents per $100 value for real property and 11.67 cents for tangible property remain.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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