Harrison officials discuss reopening courthouse

CADIZ — Harrison County officials are hoping to reopen the courthouse to the public in June.

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners discussed the reopening at Wednesday’s meeting. The courthouse was closed to the public in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The county departments remain staffed and available via telephone. A drop box is located on the exterior entrance for those needing to make payments.

Commissioner Paul Coffland said officials are looking at possibly reopening the building June 1. Prior to reopening, commissioners must discuss protocols that may need to be implemented, he said.

“We are looking to have the various buildings sanitized, deep cleaned. We’ve had a number of procedures already in place, as far as cleaning and how staff interacts with each other, how they interact with the public. But as we move toward reopening there will still be the best practices and mandatory items (in place). Again we’ll have to communicate with everyone,” Coffland said.

Commissioner Dale Norris said he would like the input of the health department prior to moving forward with the opening.

Commissioner Don Bethel said the next few weeks will aid in the decision on whether to reopen the courthouse as businesses throughout the county and state begin to reopen.

“If it’s prudent, we’ll open. That’s what we’re scheduling to do, but obviously in this environment things change. Things can change by the day,” he said.

Bethel said commissioners would not reopen the courthouse unless it is safe for the public and employees.

“We’re not going to open up the courthouse until it’s safe for the public,” he said.

At the request of commissioners, Health Department Administrator Garen Rhome said he would supply commissioners with the department’s recommendations for the reopening.

In other county news, Harrison County Engineer Doug Bachman opened bids received for an upcoming roadway improvement project.

“This is for the paving marking job that we rebid after only receiving one bid that was 16 percent over the estimate,” he said.

The Highway Safety Improvement Project was put out to bid for a second time after contractors’ bids came in far above the county’s original estimate of $167,934. The previous low bid was nearly 20 percent over the estimate.

The project entails the centerline striping of 135.52 miles and edge line striping of 4.73 miles of roadways throughout the county. The engineer’s office secured a $150,000 grant earlier this year, which was later increased to $200,000 through the County Engineers Association to fund the project

Bachman read the two bids received during the meeting;

– Oglesby Construction Inc. of Norwalk, Ohio, for $196,150;

– Aero-Mark Co. LLC of Streetsboro, Ohio, for 195,233.

Coffland then asked for Bachman’s recommendation.

“I would recommend that they be tabled while I analyze them (the two bids),” Bachman said.

Commissioners agreed to table the decision until the engineer has time to review each of the new bids.

The line striping project will improve various roadways in 10 villages and townships in the county, including in Cadiz, Hopedale, Jewett, Harrisville, Scio, Deersville, Bowerston, Freeport, Adena and Nottingham Township.


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