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Local News

Barry County Courthouse parking lot improvements pushed back to spring

Barry County Commissioners approved the concept of resurfacing and improving the Barry County Courthouse parking lot and other changes, but the work will wait until next spring.

Tim Neeb, director of Building and Grounds proposed the work on May 21, but commissioners asked for estimates on a canopy over the steps into the courthouse and other changes.

 

County Administrator Michael Brown was asked to get information from the design plans and cost estimates for the south exterior of the courthouse in the county’s Master Facilities Plan.

Gathering the information took some time and pushed the project back toward the end of the construction season.

 

Brown suggested the board accept the concept and wait until spring when they would to get better prices.

“It’s late in the year,” Neeb said. “If you approve it now, we can get bids out in early spring.”

 

Replacement of the more than 20-year-old lot is in the 2019 capital improvement budget, Neeb said when he brought the proposal to the commission. The work would extend the lot eight feet to the east, increase parking spaces from 28 to 31, put a new sidewalk along the north edge of the lot for foot traffic and replace the shrubs in front the mechanical equipment with a decorative fence.

 

The new design also calls for removing the middle of three entrances, leaving an in-and-out drive and the sidewalk on the south of the lot replaced. There are two alternatives for a canopy; one covering the entrance to the building and another with the canopy over the south entrance, the steps and the entrance.

 

Questions raised about the width of handicap spaces can be resolved later in the process, Commissioner Heather Wing said, pointing out that it is just paint.

 

In other business, the commission recommended:

*approval an amendment to its board rules to allow any board member on active military duty to attend meetings by videoconference or telephone. They would take part in discussion and have a vote, but would not be considered part of a quorum. Brown said it hadn’t happened in his years in Barry County, but there is now a mechanism to do it, if it comes up. The action is needed by a change to the Open Meetings Act law.

*continuing its subscription to Granicus software, the program that tracks and manages county boards and committees for at least another year for $7,560. Brown said they could replace if needed by the reformed application process, and it is a very reliable platform, but Geiger said it is a useful part of his plan and asked to keep it for one more year.

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