Rain, cold continue to hamper courthouse project

Inclement weather continued to have an impact on construction of Union County's new courthouse.

An update on the project was shared at last Friday morning's regular meeting of the Union County Board of Commissioners.

The meeting was at the community center in Jonesboro.

Courthouse construction project manager Mike Smith presented an update on progress at the site. The new courthouse is being built behind the existing facility, which will be torn down.

From Jan. 6 through late last week, rain and cold weather continued to hamper the pouring of concrete at Level 1.

The first section of the main floor was scheduled to be poured Monday, Jan. 23.

If the weather holds, the remaining two sections were scheduled to follow within the week.

Both elevator pits in the basement floor have been formed, poured and damp proofed.

Mays Construction has completed and inspected all of the welds made to the wall embeds and the seismic gussets at the basement wall perimeter.

Mays Construction has set all of the Level 1 floor pans and the floor studs have been welded to the deck/beam assembly. Reinforcement mesh and specified rebars have been set. All steel column bases are grouted.

Foundations and walls to the south of the basement wall will continue to be excavated and poured when weather allows. The foundation perimeter drains and waterproofing membranes and perimeter drains are installed along the interior of the south wall and the elevator pits.

Below slab services are being installed by the following trades: electrical (main and branch services), plumbing (water, septic and rainwater), fire protection, gas mains, communication/IT services.

Gravel fill will be vibrated into position and at specified elevation and then the basement floor will be poured starting Jan. 26 or 27.

A coordination meeting for several subcontractors and the engineers and architects concerning the layout of the dispatch/radio room, the construction of a radio tower, concrete base, wiring and security was held Jan. 10.

Coordination meetings for water and gas services, rainwater control and retaining wall placement were scheduled Monday, Jan. 23.

In other business at Friday's meeting:

General Fund

Union County Treasurer Darren Bailey reported a general fund balance of $695,202.47 as of Jan. 20.

The January expenditures total was $228,848.10. Revenues totaled $145,133.55.

Property Transaction

The county board agreed to draft a letter of support for property transaction involving the U.S. Forest Service and the Bald Knob Cross of Peace near Alto Pass.

The Cross of Peace currently holds and compensates the Forest Service for a special use permit to use the proposed parcel to be exchanged. The parcel will be exchanged from the Forest Service to the Cross of Peace.

The trail head for the Forest Service's Bald Knob Cross Trail is located on property currently belonging to the Cross of Peace.

The parcel encompassing the trail head is proposed to be exchanged from the Cross of Peace to the Forest Service.

The exchange is designed to eliminate the recurrent renewal of a special use permit and afford the Cross of Peace greater flexibility in future projects.

The action also would alleviate the need for the Forest Service to move an established trail head, as well as give the agency greater flexibility in the possible rerouting of another trail that the public currently accesses through land owned by the Cross of Peace.

None of the property involved in the proposed exchange is on the county's tax rolls.

A public comment period will be included in the process leading to the possible exchange.

County Administrator

Board chairman Randy Lambdin proposed that the commissioners consider establishing a county administrator's post.

Lambdin said an administrator could help to ensure smoother operations of county business. No formal action was taken on the proposal at Friday's meeting.

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