2013-07-25 / Community News

Dear Editor

Dear Editor,

The Lexington Leader published a report that Lee County is preparing legal action on the courthouse restoration project that was completed in 2004.

Important facts about the project were not in the article.

During the early stages of the project, the structural engineer identified serious structural issues with the foundation. He determined that very expensive repairs were necessary to stabilize the foundation.

Funding for the project came from a grant by the Texas Historical Commission, plus money from Lee County taxpayers. Lee County and the THC did not have enough money to fix the foundation and also restore the building.

Instead of using the first grant to stabilize the foundation, Lee County decided to spend it on restoring the building. The THC told Lee County to come back the next year and ask for a second grant to fix the foundation.

Lee County did not come back the next year to get a second grant. Instead, Lee County waited six years to ask for the second grant.

During those six years, significant cracks developed and the restoration work was damaged. This was the same type of cracking that has plagued the courthouse since it was built back in 1899.

The architects and engineers had advised Lee County to fix the foundation first. Lee County commissioners made the decision not to use the first grant to stabilize the foundation.

Lee County commissioners also made the decision to wait six years to ask for a second THC grant.

Dale Rabe

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