The Hancock County Board of Supervisors has put engineering firm WHKS on notice that if the board and the firm do not come to some sort of common ground, the county will go elsewhere for services. Nearly a year and a half has passed since the board hired WHKS to investigate courthouse repairs. After spending $5,100 to retain the firm, WHKS has never produced a single cost estimate on tuck pointing or seepage repairs, the two main reasons for hiring WHKS in the first place.
Supervisor Gary Rayhons conveys the first part of the notice being sent to WHKS.
After requesting a quote for a glass vestibule addition on the east end of the courthouse, the only quotes given to the board were from ATURA Architecture for adding a stone entrance at nearly $220,000 and the cost for its architectural fees not to exceed $28,000. These amounts do not include hourly rates of an architect manager, project architect, architectural technicians, and clerical, nor do they include any project estimates. ATURA and its consultant Randall Construction claim the courthouse needs stone and foundation replacement as well, but never presented the board with any actual cost estimates. Rayhons says the board feels Atura and Randall Construction have taken a tunnel vision approach to the project.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors has decided to forgo a large improvement project for now, and fix the original seepage issues through a local contractor, thus voiding the requirement for hiring an engineer. Both Rayhons and Supervisor Tlach give their opinions on how the project has been handled to this point and how to proceed.