County News

Cape County approves $7.7 million renovation to historic courthouse

Photo by Jay Forness

The Cape Girardeau County Commission approved a $7.7 million renovation to the 1908 Cape Girardeau County courthouse in Jackson during its regular meeting on March 13.

The historic courthouse has remained empty since the new county courthouse opened in May 2020. The renovation was included as part of the design-build process with the county jail expansion, but was not included in either team’s base bid.

The county approved a nearly $48 million design-build contract with Penzel Construction Company and its architectural partner TreanorHL in January, but the initial contract did not include the renovation of the historic courthouse.

Commissioner Paul Koe-per said county officials had met with TreanorHL since then to finalize plans on the courthouse project. “We went through and massaged some of the adds and deducts they had,” Koeper said.

Koeper said this $7,712,717 change order would include the whole renovation. The commission also previously approved a $12,519 quote from Penzel for asbestos and mold removal in the historic courthouse last month.

Work on the 1908 county courthouse renovation will begin March 27.

In other action:

• An easement agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) was approved by the commission related to work being done on Highway 61. The project will remove two entrances and leave two entrances from the county’s property along Highway 61, when the work in completed on the stretch of road from the County Administration Building to Highway D. MoDOT offered $1,800 to the county for the easement.

• Jason Poole was appointed as deputy coroner by the commissioners on March 6, after being recommended by Coroner Wavis Jordan. The commissioners approved Dennis Pleasant for the position during the Feb. 27 meeting, but Pleasant later declined the role.

“I know that Mr. Poole will do a good job for our county and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Jordan said. Poole is a captain for the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, and he will continue working for the fire department in addition to the county.

• The commission approved a $100,702 bid from Mid-South Steel Products of Cape Girardeau for two fuel tanks to be located at the new emergency management center, which will be located at the southeast corner of Interstate 55 and LaSalle Avenue.

The commission also approved a $33,057 bid from Wiese USA in Sikeston for a forklift to be used at the new emergency operation center.

• The commission approved an estimated $8,280 in annual costs to stay compliant with federal mandates from the No Surprise Act. The act requires employee health insurance to have machine readable files with fee schedule data online, as well as a new website feature for employees to get pretreatment estimates of their healthcare costs and annual RXDC prescription costs. The new features will cost the county three dollars per employee, per month.

• The commission approved a new contract for midnight/evening watch personnel for the Juvenile Detention Center. The county pays $17.16 per hour for a 57.5-hour week, which is reimbursed through a grant. The annual contract, with monthly costs of $1,052.25, runs from July 1 to June 30, 2024.

• The commission approved a new fund with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to be set up for donations from those who would like to help with Cape Girardeau County Archive Center projects. The fund will be started with $1,400 that was formally held by the county for archive center projects and an additional $300 that has been donated to the archive center.

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