August 17, 2016

Safety concerns at county courthouse

By Daniel Arens

Recently, there have been reports of unauthorized people walking into the construction zone of the county courthouse and jail expansion site. Jim Theurer, project manager for the expansion, said that, although there is a warning sign blocking the eastern portion of North Ave. in Stanton that leads into the current construction zone, several people drove through anyway.
“It’s a problem,” Theurer said, adding there have also been times individuals have been seen walking in the construction zone with no hard hat or bright vest.
“It’s your insurance, you’re problem,” Theurer told the Mercer County Commission. “But they’re breaking the law … It’s very important to us to make sure that [the construction work] is safe for the county.”
Theurer’s report was informational for the commission, which did not take any specific action during the meeting.
The commission approved a motion by Commissioner Wes Gunsch to close the courthouse Aug. 8 due to water being shut off in the courthouse and jail for the contractor’s work on water lines. Portable toilets were provided for jail inmates to use.
Theurer also addressed a large number of change orders that have come through with the project, dealing with some upgrades to the initial designs, installation of another manhole, and various delays, largely related to artifacts found during the beginning of construction and inclement weather. The change orders totaled roughly $71,000 in additional costs for the project.

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