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Harrison receives bids for renovation project

CADIZ — An upcoming renovation project in the former engineer’s office inside the Harrison County Courthouse received bids from multiple contractors last week.

Commissioners Paul Coffland, Don Bethel and Dale Norris opened five bids for the impending project during their weekly meeting. The project will relocate the adult probation offices to the former engineer’s office, Coffland said.

“We’re going to be developing a new probation department office in the courthouse in the former engineer’s office. … The space is existing in the courthouse but will be renovated and turned into individual offices and some training classroom area for probationary and a separate waiting room,” he said.

The county is hoping to move the engineer’s office to the highway garage facility, where the Harrison County Highway staff currently is based. A project is in the initial stages to expand the garage facility to hold offices as well as equipment and will allow the entire engineering department to work out of one location as opposed to two separate locations.

The low bid received for the courthouse renovation project was $197,000 from Grae-Con Construction of Steubenville, while the high bid was $300,000 from Best Commercial Energy Services of Akron, Ohio.

Coffland said commissioners will review all five bids prior to making a decision.

“We are now going to review and hopefully make an award next week. We’ll have the architect review them with us and make a decision,” he said.

Coffland said there is not yet an estimated cost for the county-funded project.

In other news, commissioners’ signed a contract agreement with Roetzel and Andress LPA to provide legal services and counsel on behalf of the board pertaining to the Harrison County Community Improvement Corp.

“We are seeking some expert legal advice regarding some matters between the county and its relationship with the CIC and its economic development,” Coffland said.

Coffland said because it may be a potential legal matter, few details can be released at this time. However, the county is acting in the best interest of the taxpayers by ensuring economic development funds are properly handled, he said.

“One of the main duties of the board of commissioners is the finances of the county and that’s why we are retaining counsel. We’re acting in the best interest of the Harrison County tax payers and residents when it comes to the county’s money, the county’s property and how that is handled through economic development,” he said.

Coffland said once the county has had a chance to communicate with the attorney and receive their opinion on the matter, they will then decide how to best move forward.

According to the agreement, the hourly billing rate for attorneys with the company ranges from $180-$715 per hour.

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