Earlier in the day, Smith said workers with the county’s day worker program had begun the process of temporarily shifting contents of the mayor’s office to another room in the historic Sullivan County Courthouse in preparation for work on Godsey’s office.
Smith said a leak in the courthouse’s concealed guttering will be repaired before the new flooring is installed. But Smith said the leak isn’t the reason for the new flooring.
“The carpet is worn out,” Smith said, noting Godsey’s office is the first of several rooms in the historic courthouse that will get the new laminate flooring. “We’re replacing old, worn-out carpet. It’s not because of no water. The carpet is worn out. It’s been in there for years.”
The county’s accounting department also will be getting the new laminate in place of current carpeting, Smith said — as well as certain areas of the Blountville Justice Center, where some flooring already has been installed.
Smith said the county got an excellent deal on the laminate flooring, getting it at closeout pricing during the last fiscal year.
Public records on file with the county purchasing office show the county paid Southeastern Salvage $13,072.60 for 8,247.9 square feet of laminate flooring earlier this year.
County maintenance workers will install the new flooring, office by office, as time permits, Smith said.
“We’re doing the work ourselves,” Smith said. “As we get time to do it, we’ll work a day here and two days yonder. Just as we have the time and the money to spare we can do it.”
The leak, in joints in guttering with the courthouse roof over Godsey’s corner office, has been allowing water to run around window frames and into the outer wall, Smith said.
That guttering was installed at the same time as a new roof a few years ago, which still is under warranty, Smith said.
According to the county’s budget document, $155,500 is in the current budget for the courthouse renovation fund — $40,930 for contracted services and $114,570 for capital outlay.
In a long and at times contentious budget development process earlier this year — which culminated in the first increase in the county property tax in several years (20 cents per $100 of assessed value) — the Sullivan County Commission eliminated capital funding for most departmental accounts.
When that budget development process first began, Smith initially sought a $258,000 increase in capital funding for the courthouse renovation account — including $40,000 for “roof repair ... build flat roof up” and another $30,000 for “new flooring for halls and foyers.”
In subsequent discussions, that request was dropped.
Godsey revamped his office — new furniture and new carpeting — as well as the County Commission’s meeting room, after first taking office six years ago.