Courthouse restoration money approved

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Seventy-year-old brass at the Clark County Courthouse will be professionally polished.

The Board of Clark County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to accept a $33,000 grant from the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

The money, combined with matching county funds, will pay for a professional restoration of the brass-trimmed doors, brass elevator doors and brass railings, lights and mullions in the large window above the front entrance, 1200 Franklin St.

Mark McCauley, the county director of general services, applied for the grant knowing he had the matching money in his facilities budget.

The brass has to be stripped, shined and covered with a sealant to prevent the brass from oxidizing and darkening.

Work could include tearing up the carpet in the hallway on the south side of the first floor and restoring the original terrazzo floors to match the central lobby.

Commissioners Steve Stuart and Marc Boldt approved the grant as part of the meeting’s consent agenda. They did so without additional comment.

Commissioner Tom Mielke was absent.

The state money will come out of the Historic County Courthouse Rehabilitation Grant program, established in 2005 after a study concluded that 32 of the state’s 39 counties have courthouses with “historic and architectural merit,” according to the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The Legislature allocated $5 million in both the 2005-07 and 2007-09 state capital budgets, along with $2 million in 2009-11, for courthouse rehabilitation projects.

For the 2011-13 budget, $750,000 has been earmarked for rehabilitation projects such as Clark County’s.

The project will be put out for bid.