Seeking a long-term fix, the Gonzales County Commissioners Court mulled over the plan to “modernize” the Randle-Rather Building elevator, which has been out of commission for several weeks now. The court declared the broken elevator an emergency at its July 22 meeting. Instead of simply repairing the elevator, the court opted to replace it with a modern system with the intention of preventing future failures. The court contracted thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation for the project.
Two representatives from thyssenkrupp appeared at the Aug. 5 meeting to answer questions from the commissioners regarding the company’s proposal. The replacement is quoted in the amount of $156,507 and is projected to last 7-to-8 weeks. However, it’s stated in the proposal that the total is “subject to escalation—even after the purchaser’s acceptance of this proposal.” One of the thyssenkrupp reps mentioned a “jack hole clause” which would cause the project total to increase if invoked.
“We don’t know if that hole was fully cased,” the thyssenkrupp representative said. “Sometimes they case them, sometimes they don’t. If we pull that jack out and that hole collapses, we’re not responsible for that.”
In the event of a jack hole collapse, the county would have to bring in a third-party specialist. Precinct 1 Commissioner K.O. “Dell” Whiddon asked the representative if there were any other additional expenses that could be added on to the total. The representative said there was some supplementary work to be done in the machine room, but the added expenses would be minor.
A portion of Saint George St. will be closed during the unloading process of the project. The county will not be required to provide any equipment during that process.
The project may run into early voting for the 2019 Texas Constitution election in October. Early voting would still happen at Randle-Rather, though the early voting location in the building may switch from the elevator lobby to the Tax Assessor-Collector’s side.
At the meeting, the court formally agreed to pay the initial 50 percent of the project, which amounts to $78,253.50, to get the repair started. The remaining cost will more-than-likely be budgeted for the next fiscal year.
Other news from the meeting: