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Courthouse plans changed again

County commissioners revisited courthouse plans at the Tuesday, April 24, meeting after voting 3-2 to purchase new HVAC units and save $77,000 with a composite roof instead of metal roofing at the April 11 meeting. They voted to go with the original plan for a metal roof and discussed keeping the courtroom balcony. Commissioner Don Collins said he wanted to discuss the courthouse roof again because architect Ben Carter said the courthouse historically had a metal roof and if there is a fire, the metal roof will not burn like shingles will. He asked the other commissioners to look at the long range value versus saving a few bucks to ensure that they haven’t overlooked anything and made a motion to add the metal roof back to the courthouse plans. Commissioner Tommy Powers said he made the motion to go with composite shingles in the last meeting but changed his mind after talking to commissioner Collins. He said he does not want anyone to think commissioners are taking shortcuts on the renovation. Commissioners voted 3-1 to go back to the original plan for the courthouse to have a metal roof instead of approving a change order. Commissioner Tamra Jarrett opposed the decision and commissioner Carol Bass ‘“ who had voted against the metal roof in the previous meeting ‘“ was not present to vote due to illness. Jarrett asked to add discussion about removal of the courtroom balcony to the agenda as well. She said in speaking with citizens, about half are in favor of removing it and about half in favor of keeping it. She had not been included in any discussions about it from the county. County manager Bill Sawyer said some think the balcony was an add-on but after examining it himself he believes it was built at the same time as the rest of the courthouse. He asked commissioners to yield to the architect’s recommendation that the balcony remain in the courtroom.

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