The Wharton County Commissioners voted Monday to pay one hefty plumbing bill for the East Bernard Branch Library.
In a unanimous vote – with County Judge Phillip Spenrath absent – the commissioners agreed to spend up to $47,450 for plumbing work at the East Bernard library. The need for the plumbing was brought up last month at commissioners court when prep work for leveling the foundation revealed leaky cast iron drain pipes under the restrooms.
In December, the commissioners awarded a $37,750 bid to Atlas Foundation to repair the foundation. Their preliminary work revealed the leaky drains and they came back with an estimate of $47,450 to fix the problem. That brought the total cost to $85,200, which is more than twice the $40,000 the county had budgeted for the repair. At the Feb. 17 meeting, the commissioners agreed to have Atlas repair the drains and postpone the foundation repair.
Wharton County Library Director Elene Gedevani asked the commissioners to squeeze her budget, if necessary, to fund any amount over the $40,000.
“Atlas will be tunneling under the foundation approximately 140 linear feet and then refill that same 140 linear feet. If Atlas discovers they can complete the project with less tunneling, then they have agreed to adjust their final invoice to reflect the cost of reduced tunneling,” said Commissioner Steven Goetsch, who led the meeting in Spenrath’s absence.
The awarding of the bid was welcome news for the head librarian.
“I am extremely happy that the library administration and the commissioners court found the solution to fix the plumbing issue so that the remodeling of the East Bernard Branch Library will be a real project in the near future,” Gedevani said after the meeting.
The commissioners gave approval for two events to take place on the courthouse lawn.
The first is a movie night for the Wharton Lions Club, which is scheduled for Friday, March 31, from 6-9 p.m. Lions Club President Karen Smith asked for a rain date of April 14, which was approved.
The second event is The Crisis Center’s third annual Light Up the Square event on Thursday, April 20, from 6-9 p.m.
In other action, the commissioners voted unanimously to ratify the purchase of a laser and receiver to be used to determine grade for ditches from Four Point Solutions at a cost of $4,300. The request was made by Pct. 2 Commissioner Bud Graves. The funds will come out of his special road and bridge fund.
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