HENNEPIN — The wear-and-tear on the historic Putnam County Courthouse isn’t as bad as expected, the Putnam County Board heard Monday.
Board chairman Duane Calbow said he and board member Jordan Ellena met with Basalay, Cary and Alstadt Architects of Ottawa, the firm hired to do tests on the courthouse to determine the amount of repair work needed to maintain the structure, which was built in 1839 and has undergone repairs and additions over the years.
The damage is minimal, considering that it has been a long time since the exterior has undergone much work, Calbow said.
“The last time this was probably worked on was 40 years ago,” he said. “We’ve been this long and it’s not that bad.”
Some faces have popped off a few bricks and will have to be replaced. The more pressing issue is the condition of the sandstone banding around the 1839 section, Calbow said. That will be the first priority — the sandstone can be cut back a bit and have new material added.
Calbow said he and Ellena both thought it would be best to tackle the repairs as a four-year project, with the first year being the sandstone banding repairs.
An exact cost hasn’t been given because the firm was waiting to hear which direction the board wanted to go with repairs before calculating costs, but the amount will be doable, Calbow said.
A representative from Basalay, Cary and Alstadt Architects can come to the board and explain it all, if needed, Calbow said. The repairs will be done with the historical integrity of the building in mind, he added.
After the repairs are done, Calbow said the county can go on a maintenance plan to address repairs as they arise.
Emergency Management Agency coordinator John Ehrhardt said he is trying to arrange an all-day Incident Command System training, which would cover ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800. Ehrhardt said his big priority in the coming months will be rewriting the emergency operations plan.