County Planner Kim Hyten presented the Putnam County Commissioners with a proposal from Karr Tuckpointing to repair a number of decorative stones and cornices on the north and south sides of the structure. The commissioners tentatively approved the $26,915 plan, pending the review of County Attorney Scott Hoff.
Not only do the damaged stones present an aesthetic problem to the structure, they are a physical hazard.
"At minimum, we need to think about working on the south side," Hyten said. "That's the side that had stones fall this winter."
The job will include patching five square feet of the face of the cornice and two decorative stones on the north side of the courthouse, along with 35 square feet of the face of the cornice and two decorative stones on the south side.
The problems with the stones originated when water pooled on the top of the cornice. With nowhere to drain, it eventually seeped into the stone and damaged the bottom.
To alleviate this, sheet metal will be installed on the top of the cornice structures while removing any tar, caulking or metal previously installed on the tops of the cornice.
The commissioners met with Area 30 technology instructor John Tesmer about updating the county website. Both the design and the information on the site are currently outdated.
"It's really outdated, and I don't think it's the way this county should be represented," Tesmer said.
Commissioner Nancy Fogle voiced her agreement, saying she was frustrated with the unfinished nature of the site.
Tesmer said he and his students could help bring things up to date as well as keep it that way.
"I could develop this Website. I have a whole classroom full of students that could help with this Website," Tesmer said.
With the interest of the county officials, Tesmer said he could put in some work on a proposal and come back to a future meeting with a cost estimate on the work.
County highway co-supervisor Jim Smith addressed concerns many residents have expressed about the condition of blacktops throughout the county.
While many roads were heavily damaged between ice and flooding in recent months, the pothole issue cannot be addressed in an economic way until the weather is consistently warmer. Smith said the weather has to consistently be above freezing in order for the blacktop mix to adhere to the existing road.
He said early mornings with temperatures in the 20s will cause any patch work to pop back out.
"We can't throw away the money we have," Smith said.
He added that 90 percent of the county's gravel roads have been repaired since winter, so crews should be prepared to work the blacktops when the weather is better.