Orange County will be seeking bids for repairs to the marble façade on the front of the Courthouse. The Commissioners Court Wednesday approved Purchasing Agent Connie Cassidy to advertise for proposals to repair the marble that has come loose from the building structure.
Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry spoke Tuesday with architect Dohn LaBiche who sent a letter in September to County Judge Dean Crooks on his recommendations for the needed repairs. LaBiche suggested in his letter the removal of all stone soffit panels, support rosettes, and rusted support bolts before resetting and epoxying the stone pieces together.
Guidry and Commissioner Barry Burton who has been the Commissioners Court’s liaison to get the repairs agreed with LaBiche’s recommendations. Guidry said there will be a limited number of the marble slabs removed according to LaBiche’s guidelines. Burton concurred that there was no reason to borrow trouble by moving all the marble if only a few have problems.
Other repairs will include hand washing the stone on the building, applying stone treatment to all the stone to protect from water, remove all sealants from stone and clean joints, re-caulking windows, remove and then replace the roof above the front Courthouse entrance. LaBiche provided an estimated cost of $220,000 for all the work.
Another building needing repairs or remodeling is the Commissioner’s Office in Mauriceville. It was seriously damaged by the flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.
The 1,380 square foot building was built in 1990 and was purchased by the county in 2009. The facility served as the office for Precinct Two Commissioner Barry Burton, an office for Sheriff’s deputies in Mauriceville, and as a local office for State Representative Dade Phelan.
Guidry reported that are three leaks in the roof of the building and at least 25 floor joists need to be replaced. The county has about $107,000 in insurance coverage and approximately $40,000 saved in the rehabilitation of the Justice of the Peace Precinct Two building.
The Commissioners Court definitely seemed to be leaning towards Guidry’s suggestion of replacing the old structure with a modular building of around 1200 square feet. He found a company that could deliver a modular building at a cost of $70 a square foot. A modular building the size of the former office and construction a new slab for it to be placed on would cost about $108,000. The Court approved Guidry to move forward with determining the scope of work for repairing or replacing the office building.
Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin updated the Commissioners on reimbursement money from FEMA. The first is $2.5 million that Ardoin indicated does not need further approval from Congress and could arrive in Orange in as little as two weeks. Another $1.3 million will take a little longer, but Ardoin reminded that the federal government has said it wants to conclude all debris removal reimbursements by December.
The bond for new Precinct Two Constable Mark Jones was set at $1,500. Jones has already executed his bond for that amount and started work as constable on Monday.
Mark Hammer with the Veteran’s Service Office on FM 1442 updated the Court on his office’s new hours which are Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Hammer said his office has seen 38 new clients in the last year.
The Commissioners Court approved a proclamation declaring October 7-13, 2018 as National 4-H Week. Heston Henry with the Texas A&M AgriLife Office in Orange County supervises the 4-H program in the county. Henry stated the 4-H program has seen a 15 percent increase in participation during the last year.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-