Upgrades and upkeep planned for Clinton County’s facilities


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Clinton County Maintenance Director Jeff Williams meets with commissioners to make 2021 plans.

Clinton County Maintenance Director Jeff Williams meets with commissioners to make 2021 plans.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Clinton County Commissioners President Mike McCarty jots down notes Wednesday on a list of potential maintenance and facilities projects.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — A digital sign for Courthouse Square, maintenance work to the courthouse dome, and a new phone system in all county buildings are among the facilities projects planned by the commissioners for 2021.

County Maintenance Director Jeff Williams met with commissioners Wednesday, bringing with him a sheet listing proposed work projects for consideration.

A project proposal to repave the parking lot at the Clinton County Job and Family Services (JFS) facility on South South Street (U.S. 68 South) in Wilmington will be held off until next year. That will provide time to explore options and do design work this year because a portion of the large lot may end up as greenspace.

Indicating County Administrator Mary Ann Haines Foland came up with the greenspace idea, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed suggested re-imagining use of the area, specifically some trees and green space, rather than having it all be blacktop over the several acres.

The project could also include within it a community drop-off recycling area with fencing, and maybe improved traffic patterns and fewer drainage issues, added Steed.

The JFS parking lot is larger than it needs to be for JFS staff and clients because the service agency’s building formerly was a Kmart store.

Williams said an advantage to converting some of the parking lot to green space would be future cost-savings by not needing to repave on a periodic basis.

As to a digital display sign on the front of the courthouse lawn, replacing the existing wooden message board, Steed suggested the digital sign be made to match or complement the courthouse and its grounds, “rather than just [be] a box.”

The estimated price for the digital sign is $30,000.

Following up on Steed’s comments, Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods said she had been thinking about suggesting the county either look into having a digital sign or, in the alternative, to “clean up that corner” of courthouse square.

Because the courthouse grounds are in the historic district of Wilmington, a digital sign will have to be approved through the relevant city channels, said Woods, and if one is not OK’d, then Woods favors having a discussion regarding the signs that currently are set up temporarily at the corner to announce coming events and so forth.

Also at the courthouse property, the approximate cost of cleaning and resealing the courthouse dome is $49,400.

A “ballpark” number to acquire a new phone system for all county government buildings is $175,000, according to Williams.

A ballpark price for a security camera upgrade at all facilities housing Clinton County government services is $85,000.

The most expensive project on the 2021 to-do list is a new roof at the JFS building where, Williams said, there are “quite a few leaks.” The price quote is $240,871.

Cleaning, tuck-pointing, sealing and waterproofing of the Clinton County Jail exterior has an estimated $120,000 cost.

A new maintenance and storage building for the county is proposed, and a firmer cost projection will be obtained before commissioners decide whether to proceed.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Clinton County Maintenance Director Jeff Williams meets with commissioners to make 2021 plans.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/01/web1_williams.jpgClinton County Maintenance Director Jeff Williams meets with commissioners to make 2021 plans. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Clinton County Commissioners President Mike McCarty jots down notes Wednesday on a list of potential maintenance and facilities projects.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/01/web1_mccarty-3-.jpgClinton County Commissioners President Mike McCarty jots down notes Wednesday on a list of potential maintenance and facilities projects. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com