The commission voted Tuesday to seek statements of qualifications for professional design and engineering services for a plaza and exterior lighting project. The statements will be received until. Nov. 7.
Leigh Williams, the commission clerk/administrator, said the design would be the first phase of a plaza project.
The commissioners have talked for several years about a project to update the plaza area between the historic Courthouse and the county Safety Building built in the early 1970s. The area includes two fountains fashioned from pillars from a former county jail building, the brick covered plaza, small steps leading from sidewalks and aging light fixtures.
Commission President Jack Evans said liability is a concern. "It is becoming more and more of a liability situation out there. The unevenness, the steps. Certainly the steps wouldn't pass OSHA in today's day's standards. It is something we need to do to spruce it up a little bit and make it easier for maintenance as well," he said.
To help pay for a project, the county has applied for state capital money in 2018, Commissioner John "Bud" O'Brien said.