Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 30, 2012

Round 2 done for county upgrades

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Round two is officially done for a couple of years worth of some major renovations to Garvin County’s courthouse in Pauls Valley.

The paperwork was wrapped up at a Monday meeting for the second phase of the many upgrades recently done to the county facility.

All three of the county’s commissioners received a letter of completion from the architect overseeing both phases of the courthouse improvements done from 2010 through earlier this year.

The trio also took part in a public hearing closing out a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) led by grant writer Claire Murphy.

With a handful in attendance, the brief hearing also allowed commissioners Johnny Mann, Shon Richardson and Stan Spivey to formally accept the grant as complete.

“We had hoped to close it out in August,” Murphy said, referring to a grant of around $19,800.

“We wound up closing it in October.”

The grant matched by county funds went toward making a number of handicap related improvements to the public building.

It was part of an overall restoration project of nearly $2 million as the second phase focused on improving the handicap accessibility in and around the courthouse, making some changes to the office space offered in the building and completing many utility related upgrades not done during the first phase.

That first phase done a couple of years ago upgraded the courthouse’s heating, air conditioning and electrical systems.

It also included a new roof and new elevator constructed outside the main structure.

Both phases were paid for by funds from a county sales tax set to end in 2014 unless some action is taken to get the measure extended. Half of the tax funds are earmarked for courthouse improvements.

During Monday’s meeting Murphy told commissioners the federal money available for these type of grants is down these days making the process much more competitive.

“They have cut the money way down. The money in the pot for the courthouse is so small there’s only four or five,” she said, referring to similar projects in the state.