Commissioners presented with building problems

A significant portion of the recent meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners was spent in the courtroom rather than the meeting room to enable Berggren Architects to present the findings of recent drone footage shot of the courthouse.

Jerry Berggren and Jake Geisert were on hand Tuesday to discuss the course of action the commissioners need to consider taking prior to having the masonry work on the courthouse completed.

A number of problems were located during the survey of the building that Berggren Architects did recently in their preparations for the tuck pointing of the building.

The TV screen in the courtroom allowed for the board and visitors to view the photos and hear the suggestions of the company. 

The presentation broke the issues into three categories: grading, roofing and masonry.

Starting with grading, the pair gave detailed examples of the problems currently being seen at the courthouse. 

The courthouse may look high from the road, but in reality the building is low in places compared to the grade of the site. This is directing water back toward the building, causing essentially erosion issues with the masonry.

The company has ordered a topographical study of the site to get specifics on problem areas, but a solution to direct water away from the building is needed.

The second major category was roofing.

Thanks to their drone, missing shingles, poorly-installed flashing and areas with no flashing were able to be seen.

The flashing should be installed in steps, with each piece being tucked into a masonry joint rather than laid flat against and caulked. In some areas, there was no flashing at all.

The final category discussed was the masonry work. 

The concrete steps on the south entrance have cracked due to moisture, according to Berggren. There wasn't enough venting space left between the sand stone and the concrete so moisture has seeped into the stones and was trapped next to the concrete stairs. Using a stone and leaving proper venting space will prevent this from happening again in the future.

Berggren and Geisert gave a prioritized list of their recommendations after the presentation. 

Starting with the most important fix to the least worrisome, the list included 1) install step-flashing, 2) fill in missing shingles, 3) extend gutter fascia over bay window on east side, 4) utilize copper or lead flashing on problematic areas, 5) re-shape roof of bay window on the west side, 6) damp-proof foundation, 7) install a perimeter gutter at grade, 8) replace the concrete steps with stone and 9) re-grade the site.

Berggren wasn't able to compile an estimate of the work listed about before the meeting but said he would get figures to the commissioners at the next one. 

According to Berggren and Geisert, the plan they recommend would protect the courthouse from the top down, ensuring that problems like what is being seen now, don't happen again or worsen.

The commissioners were surprised and frustrated to hear that there were so many issues with the building. 

The work that has been recommended still falls under qualifying work for the tax credits the county plans to take advantage of for the tuck pointing project, however until an estimate for the additional work comes in, things are at a stand still.

Another agenda item the commissioners tackled was the bid letting process for a set of triple 84-inch by 52-feet long metal pipes to be used on a road project.

Two bids were received with Midwest Service & Sales being awarded the bid. The company bid $37,620.56 and promised 6-8 weeks after approval for delivery.

Nic Kemnitz brought the commissioners information on a free storm spotting training course being offered at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Wayne Fire Hall. It is open to the public.

Aside from those appointments, the commissioners also voted unanimously to allocate a $25,000 contribution to the rural work force housing program presented to them by Megan Weaver with Wayne Community Housing Development and Luke Virgil, Economic Director. 

Both the cities of Wayne and Wakefield have committed to giving funds totalling $500,000 to the program which will serve as a revolving loan fund for rural workforce housing projects.

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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