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Cheap courthouse repairs prove costly in long run

You get what you pay for and some Warren County commissioners just learned that the hard way.

“The Warren County Courthouse trim is awful,” said Greg Bowdoin, head of maintenance for county government. “The big, wide trim that goes around the building is gapping out. Water is coming in around the trim. If you stand in front of the door and look up, you can see where it’s offset. If you look to your right, you’ll see the corners have big holes in them. The gutters will have to come off and we’ll have to pay to put the trim back up there.”

In 2016, the county paid $18,000 to a contractor to beautify its courthouse and administrative building. The scope of work included renovating or replacing the exterior trim at the courthouse due to it being “decayed and rotten,” as well as caulking windows, and pressure washing the sidewalks and steps at the courthouse, and painting exterior doors and rails at the administrative building.

Commissioner Carl E. Bouldin was chairman of the committee then and now. He is the only returning commissioner to the committee after the 2018 election.

“It was bid out four years ago, but it was a lousy job,” said Bouldin. 

Bowdoin stated, “I didn’t want to say it.”

“I’ll say it, because it was,” said Bouldin.

He and former committee members questioned the low bid of $18,000 and were reassured by the company’s owner the work could be completed for that amount.

“There was a lot of rotted wood that was painted over,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley.

Bowdoin said the caulk used around the windows was not of good quality and also needed to be redone, but he would be performing that work.

The county will be going out for bids on replacing the existing trim at the courthouse.