By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – An El Reno contractor has been hired to install new carpet at the Canadian County Court Clerk’s Office, which is getting ready to say “goodbye” to 32-year-old carpet original to the courthouse.
The action came at Monday morning’s Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting. Some people have grown weary of the current carpet, which has never been changed.
“I have been here 24 years and, believe me, this carpet is disgusting,” Canadian County Court Clerk Marie Hirst said. “We don’t ask the commissioners for much and they have been very supportive of this mini-remodel.”
Commissioners awarded a $17,342 quote from Slimp & Son Floor Covering of El Reno to replace all the carpet in the first-floor court clerk’s office, 301 N Choctaw.
Slimp & Son was the lowest of three companies submitting quotes for the work; the others were $33,605 and $38,702.
The carpet has already been selected, and Canadian County inmate labor will help move furnishings as the contractor completes the installation in phases, Hirst said.
“Total square footage in my office is 54,900 square feet,” she said. “We are getting the carpet squares so that if one gets ruined it can easily be replaced.”
Canadian County’s three-term court clerk believes the carpet upgrade will improve her employees’ morale and health. She also thinks the public will enjoy the new appearance.
The existing carpet in the Canadian County Court Clerk’s Office was installed in 1988 when the courthouse was built.
The 32-year-old carpet has been cleaned several times, but one cleaning company had placed chair mats back down before the carpet dried so it molded and mildewed.
“I think this carpet has contributed to some of the allergy situations occurring in my office,” Hirst said.
Hirst, who will start her fourth term next January, said she decided not to plan a full office remodel.
“I wanted to help save the county money for a possible future new courthouse or complete remodel when the time is right,” she said.
The carpet replacement will include a new conference room in Hirst’s office that will allow court clerk’s personnel to participate in webinars and meetings – reducing travel expenses.
The carpet on the second floor of the county courthouse was replaced about 14 years ago.
STORM WATER DETENTION
Meanwhile, an engineering firm has been hired to help improve drainage to allow future growth at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
Canadian County Commissioners on Aug. 17 approved a contract with Smith Roberts Baldischwiler LLC (SRB) for engineering services to design storm water detention at the center, 7905 E Highway 66.
The consultant will provide its engineering services at a cost not exceeding $13,000.
The current water flow runs north through juvenile center property, 7905 E Highway 66.
This doesn’t allow the center to use much of the land behind the building – and “we cannot do any future growth,” Acting Director Cedric Mills said.
Construction at the county’s juvenile center is for the new Cardinal Point family justice center, which will help domestic violence survivors.
Juvenile center officials want to move water runoff toward the rear property line due to this new construction.
In other business at Monday morning’s meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved:
• A $25,919 quote from Southwest Solutions Group to install a file system at the Canadian County Juvenile Justice Center Court Clerk’s Office.
• A $120,000 offer from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to buy the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office’s Freightliner transport vehicle. This large vehicle is no longer needed to transport inmates because of the reduced Canadian County jail population.
• Advertising for bids for a new generator for the sheriff’s annex building. Commissioners also will seek a generator for the county health department building.