WILMINGTON — The four stone columns on the front of the county prosecutor’s facility — the former post office building — will not be sandblasted for the sake of brightening.
Looking at an estimated $21,000 price tag, and lacking a contractor’s guarantee on the finished product, Clinton County commissioners decided against the procedure on Monday.
“We decided we are not going to disturb the integrity of the limestone by further sandblasting,” said Clinton County Commissioner President Patrick Haley.
“It is a cosmetic procedure that might brighten the columns, but the danger of [causing] more severe damage outweighed the cosmetic aspect,” Haley said.
The columns’ discoloration, which occurred during a long period of time, is “minor,” he added.
All three commissioners were in agreement not to further sandblast the structure’s columns. Some test sandblasting had been performed.
On another matter Monday, Clinton County Agricultural Society President Scot Gerber went through a list of projects, upgrades and routine maintenance jobs he said need to be done at the fairgrounds.
First on the agricultural society’s priority list is the completion of a new Nelson Avenue entrance/exit, which will be four-lanes wide and which will become the primary access point for the Clinton County Fair.
The estimated cost from four bids to finish the project is $85,000 to $110,000, according to Gerber. He anticipates in-kind labor and volunteer work to also be part of the process.
The new entrance is located south of the current Nelson Avenue fairgrounds driveway, which runs close to the activities associated with an outdoor horse show area.
The new access is expected to “streamline the entrance process,” Gerber said in an interview.
The project has a “huge amount of community support,” said Gerber. Completion is targeted for late spring 2016, prior to the Clinton County Fair in July.
The wood in two horse barns is getting bad on gable ends, he said. Other things needing attention on the fairgrounds are the electrician’s building, the walk-through doors on the Junior Fair Building, the 4-H dining area, and two Antique Power Club buildings.
The Peterson Building includes three or four poles that the Senior Fair Board has structural concerns about.
“It’s undermined with groundhogs and critters; it’s pretty bad,” Gerber said. The fair board has received a bid of $46,400 to put in a new concrete floor and new metal roofing and replace the bad poles and install new metal on the outside.
Regarding the Peterson Building, Senior Fair Board Grounds Committee member Dave Armstrong told commissioners, “There are places of the concrete on the corners that’s dropped six inches. It’s in bad shape.”
Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said agriculture is one of the county’s most important industries. He said some items on the list are “wish list items,” but there are things such as unsafe buildings “that have to be repaired” and that there is an obligation to fix.
To see the various structures, Haley recommended a “field trip” to the fairgrounds that’s been scheduled for October.
Gerber said the fair board “fortunately” took out rain insurance prior to the fair this year, and collected some funds due to the weather.
The commissioners were updated by the Clinton County Board of Elections regarding electronic poll books and related software. Board of Elections Director Shane Breckel said they will try the devices this fall at the seven precinct locations in the Expo Center at the fairgrounds.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.