The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors have decided to go ahead and purchase the remaining stone needed for the tuck point project on the courthouse. Over the last two years, the courthouse walls on the outside have been redone. The work is due to the fact that water has crept inside the outer layer of brick creating problems inside the exterior walls.
The project has cost over $1 million according to the board, but one side of the building remains undone. Winnebago County Auditor Karla Weiss explained the situation and why the work should not be left incomplete.
The supervisors have been reluctant to complete the work citing budget constraints. However, it was brought to the attention of the supervisors that the current stone cutter would retire shortly and the new stone cutter would be nearly twice the price.
Concerns over tax increases surfaced in order to pay for the final stage of the work. Mike Stensrud believed he knew the feeling of his constituents while Bill Jensvold cautioned that the taxpayers ended up with the bill.
Stensrud believed that the taxpayers might still support a levy or tax increase citing,
Supervisor Terry Durby asked if a bond issue should be passed or if the county could forward such an issue to the county residents. The county might have the capability to do so. He cited other revenue sources that might help pay for the bonds.
When the three areas or walls that were worked on, were completed, the county was hit with a much larger bill than expected for the work that was already done. This was due in part to the severe extent of damage to interior brick walls.
The county has decided to save the money on the new stone cutter and have the current one complete the cutting of the bricks and stones in order to complete the project. The supervisors did not decide whether to bond out or budget for the work to be done in their Tuesday meeting.