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Stair railing needs repair after saving large person
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County Commissioners reviewed improvements to buildings on Tuesday, one being an emergency fix to the handrail in the courthouse leading up to Circuit Courtroom after one section almost didn’t guard against an individual falling.
“I was told that it was a large individual who was taking the steps to the courtroom when they stumbled,” said County Executive John Pelham, who advised Building and Grounds Committee members of the situation on Aug. 12. “They grabbed the handrail and it caught them. They didn’t fall, but the handrail pulled out of the wall. He was very blessed and we were very blessed. They blocked off the stairs and called me.”
At the meeting were Commissioners Carl E. Bouldin, chairman, Clinton Hill, Michael Martin and Dwight O’Neal.
According to Pelham, he contacted custodian Billy Ralph because the county’s maintenance individual was off that day and Ralph suggested a professional be called to address the problem due to the walls’ condition.
Pelham then called Bouldin and he approved an emergency fix of the handrail. Pelham contacted Waymon Hale Construction Company because that company has done work for the county in the past and it has the license and insurance required by the county.
“Waymon sent one of his guys over,” said Pelham. “When we inspected the stairs on the opposite side, they were in bad shape. You could take your hands and shake them. When we inspected the handrails going up the back steps, those were loose and about to come out, too.”
The cost of the work is unknown. O’Neal says the cost to prevent a fall will be far less than a person suing the county after falling down the stairs due to faulty handrails.
“Whatever the cost is, it will be less than someone falling down those steps,” said O’Neal. “We don’t want that.”
Other upgrades approved include servicing the air conditioner and going out for bids on a new metal detector at the courthouse, as well as sealing and painting of the parking lot, trimming bushes and removing a problem tree at the Administrative Building.