County Board approves studies furthering Courthouse repairs

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
Henry County Courthouse

Henry County Board met on Thursday during regular session.  

The Board approved furthering the  repair and restoration project for the Courthouse and the rest of the governmental complex. Two studies were approved for Klingler and Associates to further the project.  The first study was the Courthouse Master Facility Plan, which will be used as a roadmap for sequencing the repairs, and letting of bids. The other study will be regarding asbestos testing through out the Courthouse complex. The asbestos testing is necessary for fine tuning the abatement and specialty landfill costs, when the project gets to that point. When asked if the asbestos study was really necessary, State's Attorney Cathy Runty explained that  "The study costs are a drop in the bucket compared to litigation for asbestos exposure." The Board approved the studies. 

Recent heavy rains and last summer's derecho left portions of the Courthouse damaged.  The States Attorney's office has had to vacate one office due to what Runty referred to as "a water feature", with water running down inside  walls. 

Information Services Rosemary Rathjen spoke briefly about the IT Grant progress.  The courtrooms have had many of the tech upgrades installed. The improvements need to be completed by June 1 in order to qualify, but it was revealed that they had been given an additional 2 weeks to comply.  The project is on track for completion by that date. 

Two County RLF loans were approved.  Orion Food Center will be the recipient of $100,000 for remodeling and upgrades throughout the store. And $50,000 was given to the Ridgewood Pharmacy in Cambridge

to help finance remodeling the building and stocking.  

Approval was given to hire an additional staff person for the State's Attorney's office.  The Board approved some additional adjustments to pay for some long term non-union employees in that office as well. 

A reminder of a Virtual Town Hall regarding the County Reapportionment and potential Board reduction was brought up.  I t will be held via Zoom Wednesday May 5, from 6-7 PM.  Dial in number is 1-312-62-6799, or if attending via the Zoom app, Meeting ID 309 937 3999 Passcode 3999.  The public is invited to attend, and share their thoughts.