Courthouse tower work beginning next week

Published 9:58 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

Repairing and replacing the bell tower on the Clark County Courthouse is expected to begin in earnest next week, though it may not visible until later this month.

Clark County Magistrate Robert Blanton told the Fiscal Court during its Wednesday meeting that the contractor will be onsite Monday as crews will begin preparing the tower to be removed. A crane will be brought in later this month for the removal. A block of Cleveland Avenue between Main and Wall streets will be closed to allow space for the crane and material storage for the project.

In a meeting last week. Blanton said the contractor, Structural Systems Repair Group, plans to have the tower on the ground by Nov. 8.

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“He still intends to meet the deadline,” Blanton said.

Once the tower is removed, a temporary roof will be installed in its place. The repaired tower will not be ready until spring.

The tower itself is not structurally sound and is causing a major leak on the top floor of the courthouse when it rains.

The county is issuing bonds to finance the project, which is expected to cost about $772,000 with a private donation to install gold leaf on the finished dome. The bond issue will total about $940,000 and include breathing apparatus for the Clark County Fire Department and equipment for the road department.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said consultant R.J. Palmer expects the bonds to be sold by Nov. 15, though they could sell sooner. The Kentucky Department of Local Government has already approved the bond issue, he said.

The court also approved the first reading of a budget amendment Wednesday to allow for the bond revenue and carryover from the road department budget.

In other action, the court:

— approved the hiring of Sabrina Payton and Caitlin Hubler as full-time and part-time, respectively, kennel attendants at the Clark County Animal Shelter.

— approved the second reading of a zone change for about 47 acres on Boonesboro Road from agricultural to single-family residential. The property, which presently houses a walking trail called The Path, is being sold and turned into a subdivision.

— approved resolutions to state officials to lower the speed limit on Becknerville and Clintonville roads.

— heard a presentation from Clark County Public Library Director Julie Maruskin about the library’s tax rates of 6.7 cents per $100 value for real property, 9.5 cents for personal property and 4.9 cents for motor vehicles. All rates are lower than last year, she said.

— approved the county clerk’s claim for preparing the tax bills.

— approved a resolution supporting a Homeland Security grant application by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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