Commissioners discuss plaza project

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — On Thursday, the Miami County Commissioners met with representatives from Garmann Miller Architects to get a better idea of the design and engineering work needed for the project to improve the courthouse plaza.

Earlier this month, the board authorized contract negotiations with Garmann Miller Architects for professional design and engineering services for the Miami County Plaza and exterior lighting project. The firm was chosen after interviews with several other companies.

The county has requested about $1.5 million in state funding for the project, which would update the plaza area between the courthouse and the Safety Building that dates back to the 1970s.

The project aims to address concerns including the uneven walkway, issues with the fountains and sinking, as well as the lighting in the plaza.

The board met with Chris Monnin and Kathy Trejo of Garmann Miller to talk about costs and schedules. They recommended a phased approach to the design and engineering work and mentioned that concepts could be presented by midsummer for the county to consider. The commissioners said they would like to know by July what the predicted costs for the project would be.

Commissioner Jack Evans expressed concerns about funding potentially not being available from the state.

“It’s project that has to be done,” Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien said. “If the state doesn’t fund it, it doesn’t mean it won’t be a go project, but we might have to figure out how we fund the project ourselves.”

The commissioners, Monnin and Trejo also discussed the need for meeting with representatives from the county and the city, as well as the local historical society.

“This is an emotional project for folks,” O’Brien said. “There’s a lot of events on the plaza.”

By Cecilia Fox

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