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Shrubs to go for renovations at county courthouse

Renovations at the Van Buren County Courthouse will move outside this weekend.

This Saturday, workers will begin tearing out shrubbery around the courthouse in preparation for work on the mortar between the rocks. The shrubs are growing into trees and need to be removed to prevent foundation problems, according to Van Buren County Judge Roger Hooper and County Clerk Ester Bass.

The work will be done by MTF of Springfield, Mo., Hooper said. He said the county received seven bids on the work, which should take 60-90 days. The bid was for $64,000, Hooper said. The work is covered under an $89,600 grant for restoring the historical courthouse. Hooper said the work will not cost county taxpayers.

The mortar will be chiseled out between the native stone rocks and replaced, Bass said.

Work also is under way in the interior of the courthouse. Already benches have been redone and some windows opened back up to the heights they were originally. Walls were built over the top part of the windows during renovation in the 1970s.

Current renovations call for taking in two rooms inside the court room to enlarge it and add seating.

The clerk’s office’s recorders cost fund will pay for the interior work.

The courthouse was constructed in 1934 with Works Progress Administration assistance.

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