County courthouse bringing in some unexpected revenue

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - A county court house is bringing in some unexpected revenue.    

The historical restoration of the Potter County courthouse was supposed to be complete last August.

However, delay after delay pushed back the final deadline to January 21st. That day has come and gone and the work is still not done.

Restoring a 1932 building to its' original state is no easy task, that's what Potter County officials are finding out, with the preservation of the county courthouse.

Potter County Commissioner Joe Kirkwood explains, "Historic renovations are very different than a normal renovation. It's very painstaking to bring things back to their original luster and condition and to duplicate what things were many years ago."

Which is to blame for the hold up of 22 days past the final deadline, and counting. Not to mention there's still quite a bit of work left to be done.

Potter County Facilities Director Mike Head says, "We have some window restorations to complete, some elevator work, building automation, air balance on the HVAC systems, and some tile issues. Everyday we go along on this preservation, there's always something new that comes up."

That's why Potter County is now charging the contractor a liquidated damages fee of $1,200 a day, until the project is finished.

Head says, "That's to help offset our operating costs. We have county employees we rent property for, so this will help pay for their rent. Also it will help cover operational costs for our Santa Fe building, for utilities, etc. We were planning on being back in the building a lot sooner."

For those who live in Potter County, the extra revenue could help your wallets.

Kirkwood explains, "It offsets their tax dollars and actually helps us to keep taxes low in the upcoming year."

Potter County officials tell us the contractor has now promised a March 4th substantial completion date, which means the building will be fire marshal inspected and approved by the city.