Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 1, 2013

Town hall meetings recommended

(Continued)

Chairman White said the committee is not advocating for a tax increase — although he admitted that is one of five options the County Board can consider for paying for courthouse renovations.

“I don’t think there’s a whole lot of concern among the public about what the courthouse problems are and can see firsthand for themselves. I think the issue is what do you do and when do you do it?” asked Bob Shaw. Shaw suggested the county look at cutting expenses, although White clarified the county has cut expenses deeply.

“We’ve already been through that. That’s what we’re dealing with right now with the reduction of losing revenues from ICE detainees. We gutted everywhere,” White said.

Sheriff Roger Mulch said through conversations with Advanced Corrections Health Care in recent days, the county has learned their budget has been trimmed from $300,000 to $160,000 for next fiscal year. Still, the county has a budget shortfall of $300,000 for next fiscal year and over $400,000 in unpaid claims.

Malone noted during the meeting county officials have not ignored the courthouse the past 20 years, indicating a new boiler has been installed, along with new doors and windows, and some window air conditioners have been replaced.

Edmison was adamant if the roof was fixed it would take away 95 percent of the county’s water issues at the courthouse. “In my opinion, it’s the first thing you need to address,” he said. Mulch concurred with that statement after being asked to respond by White.

While the M360 representative could not provide estimates on roof or window projects singularly, he indicated he could provide those estimates at the County Board’s request. M360 has given the Board a $4.6 million estimate for completion of Phase I of the construction project — approved by the full Board at its July 15 meeting.

M360 was asked to provide those estimates and heating and air conditioning systems costs at the next Services Committee meeting on Oct. 16. M360 will also be included in the town hall meetings, it was reported.

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