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WJBD - Local News - Marion County Board Building Committee Waives Bidding Process for Courtroom Renovation

Marion County Board Building Committee Waives Bidding Process for Courtroom Renovation

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Marion County Board's Building Committee has voted to waive formal bidding and move forward on minor renovation of the second largest courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse.  Judge Mark Stedelin told the committee Thursday night he contacted three contractors in Salem to see if they were interested in the project and received no return calls.  As a result, the committee voted unanimously to waive bidding an accept a $23,000 proposal from DePew and Owen to complete the work that will renovate the courtroom to get computer technology to the clerk's desk.  Full county board approval will still be needed.  Stedelin told building committee member Dr. Creighton Engel alot of the cost can be picked up through funds collected on those who use the court system.    

"[We] try to keep the expenses to the general fund as low as [we] can. It is a court function, it's something we need to get done, and...I'm trying to make it as minimal as I can get" said Stedelin.

Stedelin says the large courtroom will need a larger renovation in the future that will need the assistance of an architect.   The judge had come under fire at past meetings for wanting to use DePew and Owen for the project without seeking bids.  

The building committee also heard about a number of other concerns.  Public Defender Matt Chancey was instructed to work with the State's Attorney to try and find a location to store records as both offices are out of room.  

The committee voted to give Sheriff Jerry DeVore permission to have the west and south parking lots of the Law Enforcement Center resurfaced and striped at a cost of $3,350 by Tri-County Seal Coating in Centralia.   DeVore will meet with an architect on August 12th to look at options to stop leaking in the jail showers.  DeVore reported he has found a second company that will submit a price on needed repairs on the elevators before a January first deadline.  DeVore also told the committee the boiler at the courthouse is older than originally thought.  He reports it dates back to the 1960's.  Replacement is expected to cost $155,000 with a $12,800 yearly energy savings.  The committee decided not to take up the issue now since the boiler is still working. 

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