Project frustrating officials

By DENISE GRANT
Staff Writer
Frustrated with renovation work on the third floor of the courthouse, Hancock County officials are considering a lawsuit.
The commissioners held a closed executive session Tuesday afternoon to discuss the problems with Judges Joseph Niemeyer and Reginald Routson, representatives of RCM Architects, Findlay, and the construction companies. Assistant Prosecutor Cindy Land also was involved in Tuesday’s meeting.
Officials did not discuss the nature of the problems publicly.
The $1 million renovation project is nearly complete. The work includes removing a room that was built into Courtroom 2 in the 1960s and once housed the law library, in order to expand the courtroom.
The project was funded mostly through court user fees, saved by the clerk of courts and the common pleas courts for 10 years. The renovations are meant to make the third floor of the courthouse safer and more efficient.
Separately, Heather Heilman, program and grants coordinator for the United Way of Hancock County, asked the commissioners for approval to establish community gardens in downtown Findlay, just north of the Main Street bridge in the 100 block.
The United Way is in its fourth year of hosting community gardens near the Family Center, 1800 N. Blanchard St. About 43 people are signed up for the Blanchard Street garden this year. Nearly half, Heilman said, are receiving some type of public assistance.
“So, we are reaching our target group,” Heilman said.
The North Main Street gardens, she said, would help draw attention to the community garden concept, with its focus on food and security. She said the Main Street gardens would be temporary and attractive, with volunteer community groups being recruited to tend them.
The commissioners liked the idea, and agreed to check with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make sure there is no conflict with gardening in the flood plain.
Heilman said soil on the site is believed to be clean.
Grant: 419-427-8412
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