Courthouse Offices Open By Appointment Until June 2 Decision, Board To Let Restoration Project Contract Run Out Before Addressing Future

WAYNE – As the reopening phase continues across the nation, Board of Commissioners in Wayne county discussed what steps they’ll take during their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning. The board was also filled in on day-to-day activities during the courthouse restoration project.

Commissioners met from the Public Safety Annex while others were able to join the meeting by video or telephone.

The board approved for all offices to be open by appointment for the remainder of May where residents needing into the courthouse will have to contact the office they would like to meet with to be let in. The Wayne County courthouse doors will remain closed until further notice as the board will address their reopening date of unlocking the doors during their next regularly scheduled meeting on June 2. This will allow the board to get a feel of what other counties are doing and see what the next couple weeks go like with foot traffic coming in by appointment.

Elected officials in the courthouse met last week and the group was leaning towards a June 1 reopening date as Deb Finn, county clerk, mentioned other counties were meeting this week to discuss possible reopening dates.

Residents were only being allowed in for court-related purposes. Once Deb’s office was shut down by the state for elections other offices followed.

After receiving an update from Berggren Architects on the courthouse restoration project, board members decided to not add any additional funding. The current contact of not to exceed $2 million is expected to end by late July and the board will address further funding after that point. An additional $30,000 was being requested for a contract to make another trip around the courthouse to re-tuck point and clean the caulking up which was not approved as it wouldn’t complete the courthouse.

Other decisions the board will be making in their first June meeting will be the sidewalk along with snow/ice guards.

Commissioners also approved the annual formal request for contribution that Wayne county has made to Wayne Area Economic Development for the current fiscal year. Executive Director with WAED, Luke Virgil attended the meeting and provided information to the board about further information of what activities WAED has held the past year. He also stated any tax dollars from Wayne county would only be used for items in the WAED budget, not outside. The amount approved has been the same for the past few years being $8,200.

Providence Medical Center CEO, Jim Frank was as the meeting to start the conversation of bonding the hospital expansion project. PMC will be looking at construction projects for their radiology, outpatient and surgery areas. Frank was wondering if the county would act as the issuing authority for tax exempt bonds as they did in 2015 and 2016. The hospital is early in the process but would be looking at about $6 million to be borrowed and cash flow the rest of the project. PMC wants to be in a spot by the end of the summer to make a decision to move forward as they’re currently in the design phase. Construction could begin towards the end of year or early 2021.

Commissioners will need to sit down and talk about what the county is looking at in the future for bonds.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, June 2 at 9 a.m. in the Public Safety Annex. The meeting will still be offered by video/telephone.