MINERAL WELLS —
PALO PINTO – Architectural plans inched forward on the county's Palo Pinto Annex, but commissioners learned Monday there are some roof issues they will need to address first.
Architect Charlie Kearns, a principal with Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects, presented commissioners with plans for the the old stone building catty-corner from the courthouse, redesigned with accessibility and offices.
The drawings included changes to the front door and a new ramp to the back, to accommodate staff and visitors with accessibility.
After reviewing the books of drawings, Kearns presented the bad news about the building's roof, which could add another $25,000 to $30,000 to the cost.
He explained that they just completed a roof report.
“Unfortunately you have an issue,” Kearns said. “There was no roof for a while and the steel trusses have rusted. We don't have an idea what strength [they have].”
Additionally, he said above the ceiling is a thin, tin-like membrane. Above that are two layers of roofing – one foam and above that a rubber fabric, which protects against ultraviolet rays. Kearns said the top layer has cracked and allowed sunlight to penetrate the second layer. The sun damage to the foam layer has led to water reaching and rusting the tin layer.
“I wouldn't put any money into [interior] finishes to the building without putting a new roof on it. And I wouldn't recommend putting a new roof on without replacing the trusses,” Kearns advised. “Structurally, everything else is good.”
He said with the roof, this could cost $130,000 for the Palo Pinto Annex makeover. However, the county might be able to reduce this by using county labor with the demo work and painting.
Commissioners decided to table a discussion on advertising for a contractor until they can familiarize themselves with the drawings.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved monthly department reports.
Sheriff Ira Mercer reported issuing 56 civil papers and 41 citations, making 496 calls for service and 93 arrests, driving 48,368 miles and booking 184 inmates in February. He told commissioners he has had recent communication with the U.S. Marshal's office and they said they would try to get people in the county jail. Palo Pinto County Jail currently has a contract to house prisoners with the U.S. Marshal's office, but has not had much business in recent months.
County Auditor Sharon Allen reported general fund revenues are $6.7 million and expenses are $5.1 million. She said the latest sales taxes were down 26 percent, which is “not as much as it was.”
• Discussed limiting county computers so employees cannot access social networking sites. Commissioners appointed a committee to look into setting a policy.
• Accepted an original Series 2003 Tax Note paid in full for the purpose of filing and recording.
• Approved auto liability and physical damage insurance renewal.
• Approved advertising bids to sell a Precinct 4 Ford F-150 pickup truck. In addition, several other precincts have equipment to sell and the county is coming close to having an auction for items from the old Palo Pinto Cafe. Items that might be included in the auction range from cooking equipment and dining utensils to furniture and decorations. Commissioners plan to go out for bids to hire an auctioneer.
• Authorized upgrading from using cassette tapes to a digital audio recorder for documenting commissioners court sessions.
• Approved limiting expenditures for outgoing Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Jerry Mitchell to $50 before he must receive approval from commissioners court.