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Courthouse open house Saturday, June 8

The new addition and renovations at the Pike County courthouse will be open for public tours and a meet and greet with commissioners, the contractor and the architect Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The project was paid for with SPLOST funding and cost more than $2.7 million. Tours will be held throughout the day and a presentation ceremony to recognize those involved with the decision making for the courthouse renovation will begin around noon. Some of the many aspects of the renovation included adding a 5,600 square foot addition, a metal roof, a new HVAC system, an audiovisual system for both courtrooms, structural improvements, fresh paint inside and out, new carpet and trim work throughout the building and new fixtures and furnishings. Commissioners voted at their Tuesday, May 28 meeting to spend $500 for refreshments at the open house but did not vote to spend $450 for the installment of a remote fire alert system. New fire chief Randy Snyder recommended the service due to the age of the wood in the courthouse. ’I think you should have an off-site fire monitoring system because the sirens may not be heard late at night,’ he said. ‘The sooner we know there’s smoke in the building the sooner we can look for the fire and start putting it out.’ Commissioners were informed the cost could be prorated to different departments that use the courthouse for offices. Chairman Briar Johnson noted early notification could also mean if the fire is not substantial the sprinkler system can be turned off to prevent water damage. Interim county manager Rob Morton said the cost of the offsite monitoring system would be less than one month’s electric bill at the courthouse. Commissioner Tamra Jarrett made a motion to pay the installation fee and an annual payment of $299 to Cornerstone Communications, a business in Zebulon, to alert authorities if the smoke detectors are set off. The motion died for lack of a second. Instead, an audible alarm will sound if smoke detectors are set off. ’This isn’t terribly out of line for a building we just spent a lot of money renovating and a building that a lot of people are very proud of,’ said Jarrett. Citizens or whoever hears the alarm will have to alert 911 about smoke or fire at the courthouse. The alarm is set at its maximum volume of two watts in case of a fire. Commissioners did vote to pay $300 for an outdoor bronze plaque stating the courthouse was renovated with funding from SPLOST. Morton said a bid of $500 was awarded to Piggly Wiggly of Spalding County to provide refreshments. Commissioner James Jenkins owns the business but was not involved with the vote regarding who the bid went to. Piggly Wiggly offered the lowest bid. Jarrett asked what the other bids were and suggested the bid be awarded to a local business like Freshway. ’Pike citizens spend their money at Freshway and the tax money from that went to actually help build this courthouse,’ she said.

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