The renovation project is under way and will take more than a year.
By MARY GRZEBIENIAK
MERCER -- County commissioners approved contracts totaling $1.3 million for exterior renovations to the 90-year old county courthouse.
At their Thursday meeting, commissioners approved these pacts:
U & raquo;$967,554 contract with Keystone Waterproofing of Greensburg.
U & raquo;$193,000 with Safway Steel Scaffolding Co. of Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks.
U & raquo;$150,000 with Fiore Skylights of Somerdale, N.J.
U & raquo;$2,500 with L.A. Markasky & amp; Associates of Hubbard.
Job not done: Keystone will do brick and mortar work and fix damaged areas. Commissioner Olivia Lazor explained that about 10 years ago, the commissioners hired another firm to do similar work, but it did the job incorrectly and the project was never finished.
In addition, she said, sandblasting weakened the courthouse veneer. The work was stopped at that time and a settlement reached with the company over the damage.
Another firm was hired to do sealing work, but she said that job also was never finished. Safway will lease scaffoldings, install them and provide liability insurance. Fiore will redo the skylights at the top of the courthouse, and the Markasky firm will do an asbestos abatement study.
Historical work: The contracts were let without bidding, which Solicitor Lewis McEwen explained is allowed under state law because of the specialty nature of the historical restoration work. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lazor said these contracts are an extension of the main renovation contract with the 4M Co. of Boardman, and that 4M officials "know people who do this type of work."
Commissioner Brian Shipley added that 4M negotiated the original contract offers down substantially from their original costs.
The project is under way and is expected to take more than a year to complete.
Bridge work: In other business, commissioners awarded a construction contract for the bridge on Robertson Road in Hermitage to Lone Pine Construction of Bentleyville. Construction is expected to start next month and be completed Aug. 31. It will replace a span built in 1956. Lone Pine will do the job for $121,639.
Commissioners approved $7.3 million in contracts with 24 providers of early intervention services for County Mental Health/Retardation for the 2001-2002 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
They will provide a variety of services, including residential programming, specialized habilitation, speech therapy, vocational programming and adult day care.
They approved an agreement with the Greenville Area School District to provide programs for family center services for $163,734.
Family center: Greenville will administer a grant in that amount from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to fund the Community Connections Family Center. The center serves the Reynolds, Jamestown, Greenville and Commodore Perry school districts.