The cleanup and repairs at the courthouse in the aftermath of the fire earlier this month have proven to be costly.
During Monday night’s County Commission meeting, County Mayor Tim Stribling said SERVPRO’s cost alone to the county’s insurance provider could be as much as $75,000. But there will be other costs as well to replace ceiling tiles and the courthouse fire alarm system.
“SERVPRO came in and stayed for about a week and their initial scope of work to the insurance company was about $115,000 but has been reduced to about $75,000. We still have sheet rock to put in the (first floor) vestibule and ceiling tiles. We’re working with the insurance company on that to find the proper ceiling tiles that are fire rated to put back in. That estimate is going to be somewhere around $15,000 to $20,000,” said Stribling.
“As far as the fire alarm, it was noted that the fire alarm did not work. It is a fire alarm for the building. It does not alert the fire department. I had some fire alarm people to come down Friday. The same people who service our fire alarms at the county complex. They will be giving us some quotes to replace the fire alarms because this one is no longer serviceable. It was put in during 1970 and they can no longer get parts for it. I went back to try and find the last time it was checked or serviced but we don’t have a record of that. The elevator is checked every month. It has smoke detectors tied to it and they did work. But as far as the fire alarm, we’re going to get it repaired,” said Stribling.
The next day after the fire on Tuesday, June 14, Smithville Police charged 52 year old Gary Wayne Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown with aggravated arson for intentionally setting the fire in the courthouse first floor vestibule. He is is under a $75,000 bond and will appear in General Sessions Court on June 30