Courthouse ceiling repairs force commissioners to move

BURNET —  The sky is falling inside the Burnet County Courthouse on the Square.

Assemblies inside the affected second-floor main courtroom, including the Commissioners Court, are going to have to meet elsewhere until repairs can be made.

"It is not safe in the courtroom — that is our issue now," said Court Coordinator Jeanne Emerson.

Until the ceiling is fixed, the commissioners will hold their meetings in the first-floor courtroom at the courthouse or at the County Courthouse Annex North in Burnet, 1701 E. Polk St.

"We are kind of like the gypsy commissioners now," Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronny Hibler quipped.

Every tile is cracked or crumbling, County Maintenance Supervisor Richard Gumbert told the County Commissioners during their meeting earlier this week.

The whole ceiling needs to be repaired, Gumbert said.

"The job may have to go out for bids," Gumbert added. "It is a possibility."

A letter from County Judge Donna Klaeger will inform the Texas Historical Commission of the damage and needed repairs to the ceiling, Precinct 1 Commissioner Bill Neve said.

"Our letter (to the commission) will indicate we are going to go with (textured) Sheetrock, so we can make the ceiling look like the original one," Neve added.

The commission does not include the courthouse on its list of registered historical sites, according to Emerson.

However, the courthouse falls under "general historic courthouse law," Emerson said.

"We want to be in compliance (with the commission) and do (repairs) in the most cost-efficient manner," she said.

Also during the meeting, Precinct 2 Commissioner Russell Graeter asked local political candidates to do some spring cleaning.

Several candidates still have campaign signs posted outdoors, even though their races are finished, Graeter said.

“It is not up to taxpayers to pay for the removal of those signs,” Graeter added. “I am not talking about a few signs. I am talking about a lot of signs. Right now, I consider all of them to be litter.”

In addition, Capt. Richard Gauldin during his report to commissioners said 538 inmates are incarcerated at the County Jail, including 448 parolees and probationers enrolled in rehabilitation programs sponsored by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, as well as 90 county inmates, including five from Blanco and three from Llano counties.

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