June 27, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Medina County to issue bonds for building upgrades

MEDINA — Officials have a clearer financial picture how they’ll proceed with repairs to two of the county’s oldest buildings.

County commissioners plan to issue $1.15 million in one-year notes to make repairs at the old county courthouse and the county administration building. The funds will be on hand by next month when roof repairs at the two buildings will begin.

Ultimately, the notes will be converted to 10- to 20-year bonds, County Administrator Chris Jakab said.

Besides replacing the roof at the administration building and part of the roof at the courthouse, repairs include replacing 156 windows between the two buildings, some electrical and HVAC work at the courthouse and the structural repair of the clock tower.

The clock tower is showing signs of wear. Bricks on the facade are crumbling and the tower leans southwest. The county has done work to secure it, including structural supports that run up and down the courthouse and through the middle of several offices.

The repairs will remove those supports and replace them with less obtrusive and more permanent ones.

All the initial projects funded by county-issued bonds are scheduled to be performed between May and October. The projected $1.15 million in repairs do not include the total restoration of the courthouse clock tower that is estimated to cost $258,100. That project, along with a complete renovation of the old courthouse and additional repairs to the courthouse roof, have been put off until next year.

There isn’t a cost estimate yet for the renovation of the old courthouse and the second phase of roof repairs there. Officials have estimated it could be more than $1 million.

The county is working with nonprofits Medina Community Design Committee and Main Street Medina to potentially find funding sources for those projects. For example, the groups will look at obtaining state and federal government grants that focus on historic preservation.

“Then at that time, hopefully if we can do that, we will try to move forward with the plan. Obviously we have to look at what our budget is and what we can afford,” Commissioner Steve Hambley said.

He said the most likely scenario is the county only will have enough money to fund all or part of the clock tower restoration, the most pressing of those projects. The other projects would be put on hold.

“Then we do it phases … piece by piece,” Hambley said.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.