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Commission votes to repair Hale County Courthouse

The Hale County Commission finally approved Monday Fitts Architects of Tuscaloosa to supervise repair of the county courthouse.

The issue of what architect would be chosen for the repairs had been in contention for some time. Commissioner Walter Allen has complained in the past that the repairs have been needed for six years.

Allen and Commission Chairman Leland Avery have favored Fitts while commissioner Lois Fields had asked for bids from other architects. Fields does not believe Fitts can have the repairs done for a projected cost up to $200,000, and she has described their proposal in the past as more of a band aid rather than a solution.

Allen again brought a motion Monday to have Fitts do the work and the county use money from oil and gas revenues to pay for it. Commissioner Joe Lee Hamilton Jr. seconded the motion.

Fields expressed concern whether county attorney Barrown Lankster had reviewed the proposed Fitts contract. Fitts will receive a nine percent architect fee on the project, Avery said.

Hamilton said he wanted to have the courthouse fixed, and he joined with Allen in voting for the motion. Commissioners Fields and Yolanda Watkins voted against the motion, and chairman Avery broke the tie with a yes vote.

Avery said Friday Fitts should begin to bid out the work within a few months, and he would like to see the repair done before the end of the year.

The next meeting of the Hale County Commission will be held at 7 p.m. on April 27 in the county courthouse in Greensboro.