County to take action on elevator problem at courthouse

January 30, 2013

County commissioners are expected to make a decision Friday on a matter that the county judge fears could result in a fire at the historic courthouse, where a recent renovation had a $7 million price tag.

The Commissioners Court will determine how best to handle an ongoing problem with the courthouse elevator when the court meets in a specially called meeting. It is one of several items on the agenda.

The meeting will be at 10 a.m. in the Justice of the Peace courtroom at the Justice Center.

County Judge Darrell Cockerham said Monday that the conveyor keeps malfunctioning. No one has been trapped in the car, he said, but it needs to be fixed because some people cannot climb the stairs to the second floor courtroom.

Cockerham said the elevator was not working on New Year’s Day when newly elected officials were being sworn in. The elderly relative of one elected official had to be carried up the stairs by her grandchildren, he said.

Cockerham said the motor in the elevator keeps kicking the breakers.

“We’re kind of afraid to put bigger breakers in there. I’m afraid it could cause a fire, quite frankly,” he said. “If (the current) company can’t get it fixed, we’re probably going to go with another company.”

The judge said he wonders whether the problem originated with dust stirred up during the long restoration project.

“All that electrical stuff doesn’t really like dust,” he said.

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