Maintenance needed on courthouse

Published 6:22 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

County officials agree the courthouse is in need of painting and basic maintenance.

That’s not in doubt.

What members of the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors argued over at their July meeting was how much will be spent on the project.

The county accepted bids on doing the preparation and painting of the courthouse, but the only one received potential charges of $46,000 for the main courts buildings.

And that, some board members said, is too much.

“I think nobody is saying we don’t need the work,” Supervisor T. Wayne Hoover said. “I think the finance committee is saying we can’t afford $46,000.”

Consequently, the board said it was not rejecting the bid, but that the project be rebid.

Time, however, is not on their side.

Something has to be done, County Administrator Tracy Gee said.

“We are facing serious deterioration,” she said.

She used the peeling columns in front of the old courthouse as an example.

Board members started offering up suggestions for how the work could get done. Supervisor Frank Bacon suggested hiring the painter who works for the Lunenburg County Public Schools — a move that Hoover said could work off some of the money that the system owes the county for paying $317,000 in debt services.

Earlier this month, the school system announced that it might have a deficit of $317,000 owed in debt services for construction of the middle school. The county ended up paying the debt and the system will repay them.

Hoover also said the county could use inmate-labor from the jail.

Gee set aside most of those suggestions, noting that the height of the buildings requires specialized equipment and training.

Whatever happens, board member Alvester Edmonds said, it is going to have to be done sooner rather than later.