Clay County Commissioners discussed the fate of the old courthouse restroom building located on the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn Monday.
The building, which has fallen into disrepair, is to be demolished as soon as the grounds are dry enough to support heavy equipment. County employees will carry out the demolition.
The county received an e-mail March 8 from Susan Gammage, project reviewer for the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, giving the county the permission of the Texas Historical Commission to raze the building.
In meeting guidelines set forth by the THC, the county will salvage all usable brick and roof tiles for use in courthouse or bandstand repairs.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Johnny Gee discussed possible storage locations for the brick and tile. Gee said two possible locations would be a storage container owned by the county at a property on East Wichita Street in Henrietta, or inside the old Henrietta VFD building, which the county now owns. The brick, said Gee, could possibly be stored outside, while the tile would be boxed and kept indoors.
In the past, commissioners have asked the THC about restoration or replacement of the building. The THC would not allow replacement, while commissioners believed restoration of the building as it sits to be impossible.
“To me, there’s no restoring it as it is,” said Gee. “You would have to take it completely down.”
Commissioners approved the demolition several years ago in accepting a plan from the THC to restore the courthouse grounds to its appearance before 1922. The restroom building and bandstand were constructed after 1922.
Commissioners voted against joining TEX-21, a lobbyist group pushing to upgrade the U.S. Hwy. 287 corridor to Interstate status. To be a member of the group, counties with a population of less than 25,000 are required a membership fee of $2,125 per year. TEX-21 is the same group that worked toward the expansion of I-35.
County Clerk Sasha Kelton discussed scheduling changes for the delivery of election equipment to polling places prior to the May 29 Republican and Democratic primaries. The equipment is delivered the day before the primary. This year, the primaries are set for May 29, with delivery set for Memorial Day, a county holiday. Kelton will distribute equipment to the commissioners the morning of May 28, and will not send her staff along for delivery. Her staff will not accumulate comp time and the commissioners and county hands will be able to deliver the equipment then go home.
In other business, commissioners:
- Approved a release of security from Legend Bank in the amount of $402,000.
- Approved March payroll, all accounts and financial reports for Clay County.
- Approved the treasurer’s report for March.
- Approved contracts for elections equipment with the Republican and Democratic Parties for the May primaries.
- Approved a request from the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce for the placement of a news rack inside the annex for distribution of the Clay County Outdoors magazine.
- Approved use of the annex restrooms for use by the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce during Turkey Fest.
Commissioners also approved an extension of time on a depository contract with Legend Bank for one year, beginning May 30.