Wednesday, December 8, 2010


New Digs At North Baker Elementary

The County Commissioners released some more information about the County Courthouse Emergency Mitigation and Agency Relocation to North Baker Elementary at the Commissioner’s meeting today at the Baker School District 5-J office this morning. I was told that some information, such as the cost to date of the cleanup and relocation efforts is still not available.

I was told by the County’s Information Officer, Karen Spencer, that the Commissioners might have details of the cost estimate to repair the damage at the Court House, in the form of a “Scope of Work” document from the insurance adjusters, by around noon on Monday, December 15th but that has been delayed to a potential availability date of next Wednesday.

Today the estimate on a small portion of the damage, that done to hardware, such as computers, is estimated to be about $7,500.00. Damage to other office structures, such as partitions, a desk, carpets, surge protectors, and etc., was not available, according to the County.

There are roughly two phases of work that has been, or will be, completed. These are categorized as:

1) the remediation phase (cleanup, moving, and etc), and
2) the construction phase.

Full costs for each category are not yet available.

The County states that they have kept costs down by using current employees for moving to North Baker Elementary, and by using County owned trailers, such as the emergency management trailer for some of the District Attorney's office space.

Use This Entrance

Karen Spencer, County Information Officer, released the following update summary this afternoon:

Baker County
1995 Third Street
Baker City, Oregon 97814

Baker County Courthouse Update
December 8, 2010

The work at the Baker County Courthouse continues after a broken pipe flooded the 101 year old building sometime during the weekend following Thanksgiving. Representatives for the County’s insurance provider traveled to Baker City to inspect the progress of the remediation. The area of damage was redefined after a walk through on December 7th with Kelly Montague, Claims Adjuster, and Russell Clark, Executive General Adjuster. Floor coverings in adjacent work areas were added to the quantified damages.
The demolition and clean up of the increased area is expected to be complete by Friday December 10, 2010.

Overview of damage by floor:

Basement – approximately 50% of the area was damaged
Areas involved:
Planning Department
Facilities (Office)
Facilities (Shop)

First Floor – approximately 40% of the area was damaged
Areas involved:
Main Lobby

Second Floor – approximately 60% of the area was damaged
Areas Involved:
Circuit Court (Judge’s Chambers)
Circuit Court (Courtroom, Recording and Staff Offices)

The claims adjuster, Kelly Montague, is expecting to present a scope of work to the County for reconstruction on Monday December 13, 2010.

Humidity levels continue to decrease throughout the building, however a few areas still registering higher readings. Those areas may need additional work for dry out.

A timeline for repairs has not been established at this point. A clearly defined process will be communicated by City/County Insurance Services when it is prepared.

The relocation to North Baker School is progressing. Cables have been run to each office, providing phone, fax and networking capabilities. Each department has a phone and fax line: the numbers will remain the same as assigned to the courthouse. Because of the move, the public may experience more busy signals and longer rings prior to pickup.

The Circuit Court, District Attorney, and Commission offices are transitioning to North Baker School today. Administration, the County Clerk and the Treasurer remain at the courthouse until further notice.

Justice Court continues to conduct business at Baker City Police Station. The Veteran’s Services office has temporarily relocated to Baker City Hall. All other departments are open to the public at North Baker School.


Inside New Quarters

Some good general information is in an article in today’s Baker City Herald:
County adjusts to temporary home

Additional information, in the form of video of today’s meeting, including a mitigation/relocation update from Gary Timm, a can be accessed on YouTube and Scribd. (See below)

Gary Timm Gives Update on Damage to Courthouse and Relocation Efforts.mp4

Gary Timm gives update on damage to courthouse and relocation efforts as outlined in the document BAKER COUNTY COURTHOUSE EMERGENCY MITIGATION AND AGENCY RELOCATION UPDATE which can be found at


My Questions for Commissioners Concerning Courthouse Emergency 120810.mp4

Q & A on initial Bidding Process

Answer from Commissioner Warner.

Q & A on waiver forms distributed to County employees for working in water damaged Courthouse.

Answer from Director Bennett and Commissioner Warner.


Mark Bennett, Emergency Mgmt. Director & County Attorney Dan Van Thiel Discuss Bidding Process.mp4

Mark Bennett, Emergency Mgmt. Director & County Attorney Dan Van Thiel Discuss Bidding Process. Dan Van Tiel stresses that he would like to see County declare "extreme" emergency which gives the County the authority to allow the insurance carrier, City/County Insurance Services to provide for the bidding and hiring process. The question had apparently been raised by contractors who were not allowed to bid on the initial cleanup of the Courthouse after water valves broke during the last week of November.


County Attny Van Thiel & Commissioner Warner Discuss Contract With School District for Office Space.mp4

Proposed agreement calls for $2600 the first month, $2500 the second month, with a cost of $2300 for each additional month, including insurance coverage.

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This information may be edited or added to tomorrow, 10/9/10

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