Chesterton Tribune



Commissioners award contracts for courthouse renovation

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The Porter County Commissioners awarded contracts for the renovation of the Courthouse in Downtown Valparaiso at their meeting Tuesday morning.

The proposed renovations on the Courthouse are part of the Commissioner’s $30 million capital improvements plan. The Commissioners have hired the consulting services of Skillman Corporation for the projects.

The work on Phase I of the courthouse project was broken into two bid packages: one for perimeter/exterior work and foundation work, and another for window replacement. Dion Katsouros, a manager with Skillman, reported Tuesday that the window replacement will start in either August or September due to the large windows taking eight to 10 weeks for delivery. Work on the exterior is expected to start in June. The only hitch is that Katsouros said the foundation issues at the courthouse require more evaluation. Waterproofing the foundation is a main concern, and Katsouros said that may not cost as much as was originally thought.

Katsouros said Skillman had vetted the low bidders and is now working with Shive-Hattery, whom the Commissioners retained to plan interior work on the courthouse, to put together the next bid package. Gariup Construction will take on the exterior work for $547,500 and J.W. Werntz and Sons, out of South Bend, will take on the window replacement for $778,000.

In related business, the Commissioners also approved an agreement related to the old jail building at 157 Franklin St., another capital improvement project. According to County Attorney Scott McClure, the agreement transfers the income and lease agreement for a telecom tower that is on top of the building to the Commissioners upon closing of the sale.

Other Approvals

In other business, Stu Summers was re-appointed to the Porter County Public Library Board.

Also, the Commissioners announced that Rhonda Young is the new HR director for Porter County. Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, said, “We think it’s going to be a very good, natural fit to promote her from within. We look forward to some stability and constancy in that office.”

The Commissioners also approved:

* An agreement between the Porter County Sheriff and Autoclear for annual maintenance on the x-ray machine at the North County Courthouse for $5,400.

* A contract for $1,987.50 between the Wildlife Management Advisory Board and Maja Design Inc., for map revision and work on three interpretive panels at the Zona Wildlife Sanctuary in Jackson Township.

* A resolution for the Kankakee River Basin Commission endorsing its application for economic development district status for Porter, LaPorte, and Lake counties.

* A payment to American StructurePoint for work on the administration center plaza for $27,942.77. The remaining balance is $54,630.15.

* On first reading, an ordinance establishing a non-reverting fund for the receipt of charitable donations to the Porter County E911 Center. The second reading will take place at the next meeting.



Posted 5/16/2018








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