By BRIAN GRAVES
Insurance has for the most part covered the repairs made necessary by the September fire inside the Bradley County Courthouse.Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said completion of those repairs, as …
Insurance has for the most part covered the repairs made necessary by the September fire inside the Bradley County Courthouse.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said completion of those repairs, as well as finishing the energy-saving renovations being done in concert with those repairs, is priority No. 1 for 2018.
“That is the ongoing nightmare, but they are now in the process of replacing all of the windows,” Davis said.
The mayor noted the Bradley County Commission had just voted to proceed with the $3.5 million Energy Saving Group contract that will be paid out of debt service over a period of time, noting that also includes the Annex and the Justice Center.
“For the first time since the courthouse was built in 1962, they are replacing the heating and air system. They are adding better energy-efficient lighting as well as the windows,” the mayor said. “That is a loan situation to pay for the contract with a major portion of that to be paid out of energy savings.”
Davis said the fire did serious damage to one room and caused smoke damage throughout the entire courthouse.
“The entire courthouse has been cleaned by a contract between ServPro and the insurance company,” he said. “They paid them to totally clean the courthouse and take out the ceilings. Sometime in the near future, those ceilings will be put back with insurance proceeds.”
Davis said some upgrades are being required as the repairs are being done.
“They are working on putting the huge transformers that were in the basement on the outside, by requirement of Cleveland Utilities,” he said. “We also have an electrical contract to hook up to the outside transformers. All of that is being covered by insurance.”
Davis said having a large insurance claim will likely mean higher rates in the future.
“I don’t know if that will be the case next year, but so far it’s all being handled with the ESG contract which was approved by the commission or by insurance,” he said.
He said the situation is a “nightmare,” because “it’s like pulling teeth getting the insurance approval for these various things.”
“They will be paying for some lighting upgrades and the ceiling that was taken out, and have already paid for the cleaning,” he said. “They are also paying for the security, since the building is open.”
“So far, it has cost the county’s budget very little,” Davis said. “We’ve had do a little bit of abatements. I’m trying my best to make sure everything that is done is done with either the ESG contract or with insurance approval.”
Davis said the heating and air units have been ordered and should be delivered this month, “but it takes a couple of months to install them.”
“We are replacing these units that were placed there when the courthouse was first built in 1962. We’ve made them work for 55 years. It’s past time to replace them,” he said. “The replacements will be much more energy efficicent. The old ones were so big, the courthouse had to be built around them.”
“My goal has been to only do what insurance approves us to do,” Davis said.
“So far, it has cost the county’s budget very little. We’ve had do a little bit of abatements. I’m trying my best to make sure everything that is done is done with either the ESG contract or with insurance approval.” — Mayor D. Gary Davis
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