Cortland County to go forward with bidding process for courthouse roof repairs

Here is a photo closing in on the roof of the Cortland County Courthouse. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith/Cortland Voice).

Cortland County officials will move forward requesting bids for a $350,000 roof repair package for the County Courthouse building. The action was unanimously approved at a recent County Legislature Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting.

The county legislature currently has two streams of funds that could shore up the costs of the renovations package. Buildings and grounds committee chair and county legislator Beau Harbin (D-LD2) said the county could use funds from a “buildings reserve” account in the budget that should have “plenty of funds” to cover the costs. 

Alternatively, the county designated funds from the $9.2 million received through the American Rescue Plan Act in federal stimulus to work on courthouse repairs. Harbin said the county designated up to $1 million to help rejuvenate the courthouse.

Chuck Miller, the county’s director of buildings and grounds, presented a quote from Soprema, a national industrial roofing company that has assessed the current state of the courthouse. 

The remodeling, which totals $350,000, would include renovations to “flashings, sills, moldings, crowns, and getting everything sealed up, restoring the skylights and the pieces of the shingled roofs,” according to Miller. 

After approval from the committee, Miller will now move forward getting quotes from contractors, and will return to the legislature to approve and award a bid. 

“We are looking to move forward on this quickly so that we are right at the front of the queue in the spring,” Harbin said in a Friday interview.

“You’re talking about a roof that is 70ft in the air, three stories-high, and approximately 12,000-square-feet of surface space,” Miller said. “I think budget-wise this is really in line with what it should be if we are not having to do it on an emergency basis.” 

Harbin added the county has been looking at a report from two years ago that details the repair work needed at the courthouse. The building is close to 100 years old (1924).

“There are a lot of moving parts at the courthouse right now, and we really have to focus on bringing that building back,” Harbin said. “We really need to do some major improvements across the courthouse.”

County Legislator George Wagner (R-LD15) spoke in support of the project.

“The price is right from start to finish,” Wagner said.

Legislators agreed on requesting a 50-year warranty on the roof shingles, noting they would like to see the project address repairs that will last for years down the line. This addendum will add to the total price tag of the project, but it is unclear how big that increase will be at this time.

Miller said due to the impending winter weather, the renovations should start sometime in April.

The courthouse’s dome will be a separate item and the legislature has not received a quote on project costs.