2018-10-06 / Front Page

Potter County facelift continues


Crews from Miller & Richards Masonry are installing a ramp and repairing the entrance to the Potter County Jail. The jail was built in 1869. It underwent extensive renovation and expansion in 1995. Its exterior facade of stone masonry was left intact for historical preservation. Federal and state regulations have resulted in many modifications over the years, including tightened security and handicapped accessibility accommodations. Bill Pekarski photo Crews from Miller & Richards Masonry are installing a ramp and repairing the entrance to the Potter County Jail. The jail was built in 1869. It underwent extensive renovation and expansion in 1995. Its exterior facade of stone masonry was left intact for historical preservation. Federal and state regulations have resulted in many modifications over the years, including tightened security and handicapped accessibility accommodations. Bill Pekarski photo Infrastructure improvements have been front-and-center for Potter County Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover this year.

After gradually building reserves to be able to lessen the financial impact, the commissioners green-lighted three major projects with an estimated price tag of nearly $4 million.

Added to an upgrade that’s now being planned for the county’s 911 emergency communications system -- which is expected to cost about $3.8 million -- the board also chose a contractor to repair and paint the courthouse bell tower and steeple.

The $60,000 contract was awarded to Fiske Associates of Erie. Work will be completed by the end of October.

Commissioner Morley pointed out that the bell tower/ steeple project completes a three-stage courthouse rehabilitation project that also included windows and exterior painting.

Most recently, the commissioners opted to move forward on a major project at the county jail, where the entrance stairway has been crumbling, creating a safety risk and potential liability to the county.

“This gives us an opportunity to not only replace the stairs, but to also make the entrance handicapped-accessible with the construction of a ramp,” said Morley. “Currently, visitors to the jail with disabilities are brought through the food service entrance and areas that are actually restricted.”

Lone bidder for the project was Miller & Richards Masonry Contractors Inc., with a price tag of $28,000.

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