County will spend up to $30,000 on renovations
By Mark Randall firstname.lastname@example.org
The county clerk’s office will be getting a much needed facelift. The Quorum Court’s approved getting bids to renovate the space which is the last major office on the first floor in the county courthouse yet to be updated. “The clerk’s office is the one that the public visits the most, and it is the only one we haven’t done,” said Justice Ronnie Sturch, who is chairman of the buildings committee. “So we’re going to go ahead and get some bids.” The county has planned to go ahead and renovate space in the county office building to relocate the public defender’s office to save on rent, but Sturch said they still have a few issues to iron out and aren’t ready to go ahead with the project just yet. But rather than wait, Sturch said they will do the clerk’s office instead. The county had budgeted $78,000 for the renovations. “We’re still working on some ideas for that,” Sturch said. “Probably in the next month we will probably be able to submit something to you.” Sturch said they plan on removing the paneling in the clerk’s office, painting the walls, and replacing the carpeting. “She brought us a list of things that she would like to see done,” Sturch said. “It’s just some cosmetic things to bring it up to date. It’s old and dated.” The renovations are expected to cost about $25,000 to $30,000. “It’s not going to be a major expense,” Sturch said. “But since we do have some money and the other project is delayed, we’re going to go forward with that.” Past projects have resulted in considerable savings on rent. The county spent $130,000 to renovate the old county health building into office space for the county’s two circuit court judges which saved the taxpayers $30,000. The county also spent $20,000 to renovate the space formerly occupied by the State Revenue Department into office space for the election commission, which saved another $9,000 a year. Moving the public defender’s office to the county office building would save another $15,000 a year in rent, and another $20,000 a year for the prosecutor’s office. The public defender’s office is located in the Mid-Continent building. Sturch said renovations to the clerk’s office may not begin until after the March primary election so as not to disrupt the functions of that office. “It will be up to (County Clerk) Paula (Brown),” Sturch said. “She may want to wait until after the primary.” The clerk’s office will be vacated and temporarily moved to the county treasurer’s old office.