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Section A: General News


Courthouse tests continue




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Wilson County News
July 11, 2012 | 1,378 views | 1 comment

Shifting clay soil, water intrusion, forgotten clay pipes, and an inferior foundation are some factors consultants believe are at the root of the Wilson County Courthouse’s worsening structural issues. This is according to Lyndsay Thorn of San Antonio-based Thorn+Graves Architects, who briefed the Wilson County Commissioners Court July 9 on some recent tests performed at the 128-year-old downtown Floresville landmark.

Thorn said the discoveries were made when recent test pits were dug. He said some of the bricks used in the courthouse’s foundation are so weak that they can be crushed by hand. These bricks are the same as the ones used to construct the Karnes County Courthouse, which currently is closed for renovation.

These bricks, coupled with water intrusion and excessive settling, have caused the building to shift, which is why much of the Wilson County Courthouse was condemned in September 2011. Thorn said additional tests were scheduled for July 10.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners took no action related to a burn ban proclamation. Coordinator Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, who serves as the county’s fire marshal, said that up until it began raining on the morning of July 9, it was his recommendation to enact a 90-day ban on outdoor burning. But he decided to forgo a ban, because additional rain was forecasted through the week.

“This will give people the opportunity to burn while it’s wet,” he said. “We’re not on the threshold of a drought just yet, but we’re getting close.”

In other business, the commissioners changed the fee structure for driveway permits, setting a fee of $500 on driveways with a width of 100 feet or less. Driveways greater than that width will be charged an additional $500. The fees will be split between the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office and the precinct of the commissioner who inspects the driveway.

 

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