By Debbie Gregory
The Macon County Courthouse isn't just a courthouse - it’s a county landmark that Mayor Steve Jones wants to maintain for future generations.
Deteriorating walls and asbestos removal is a priority for Mayor Jones, and the County Commission gave him the green light during the March meeting to hire Bill Walter, a consultant with Masonry Restoration Technologies & Services. “Mr. Bill Walter will inspect the courthouse, determine what needs to be done, and provide the county commissioners with a plan of action for the much needed repairs,” Mayor Jones said last week.
“The courthouse is just getting old and starting to deteriorate, and we have to make some repairs to maintain it,” the Mayor pointed out. “There is moisture leaking into the courthouse exterior walls and causing substantial water damage to the interior walls. There is some lead paint in the older walls and as it deteriorates it has to be taken care of by people who specialize in this kind of removal, as well as the asbestos issues in the old boiler system in the basement. We also have some problems with the asbestos in the tile floors which will have to be handled.”
Mayor Jones says that the courthouse may still look good on the outside, but some of the limestone is breaking loose on the exterior walls and they need to restore the brick structure.
“This repair project will be quite a bit of work and it will be a costly undertaking,” noted Mayor Jones. “Mr. Walter is in the process of writing up specifications on what has to be done and he will bring his recommendations back to the commission for their approval. He will take the bids and oversee the project.”
“We hope to get started on this project as soon as possible,” said the Mayor. “The Macon County Courthouse is a county landmark that needs to be maintained for future generations. We want to make a safer and cleaner working environment for the employees and the citizens who come into the courthouse.”
“The county can’t afford to build a new courthouse, so we have to take care of this one,” added Mayor Jones. “This building was erected in 1933 and it was remodeled in 1972. After 47 years, it needs some repairs.”