MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Commissioners expressed appreciation Tuesday to County Administrator Jason Booth and employees in the county’s IT (Information Technology) Department for creating a Knox County government Twitter page, @KnoxOHComm.

Booth said the recent closures of most county offices and the Knox County Service Center to the general public due to COVID-19 precautions, except by appointment only, offered an opportunity to keep the public apprised of important decisions and activities. The county has a website and a Facebook page that is “not proficient,” Commissioner Bill Pursel said. Booth offered that the IT Department will use a program, Hoot Suite, allowing simultaneous multi-platform messages on social media.

Commissioners also received a progress update Tuesday on the $4 million Central School renovation project, while also giving the approval to go out to bid on three separate contracts related to the grant-funded Village of Martinsburg water system improvements. The Central School project, which is essentially complete and involves renovations allowing the county Veterans Services Office and board of elections to occupy the building, was to have enjoyed a flag-raising ceremony this week for the veterans office. That has been postponed due to the county following the state’s orders regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, Booth informed commissioners that the state is expected to conduct three inspections this week — an electrical inspection, a life and safety inspection, and an elevator inspection. Approval from the life and safety inspection will allow building occupancy. The board of elections is not expected to move into the building until the primary election, rescheduled from March 17 to June 2, has been completed.

Work on the project that still needs to be done includes an additional layer of asphalt in the parking lot and alley, which will happen later in the spring, Booth said. The exterior of the building needs to be washed.

Commissioners also approved going out to bid on three contracts related to the Martinsburg water system project. There are three separate contracts to be bid on. Contract A involves the replacement of customers’ water meters and a new meter reader and associated hardware, at an estimated construction cost of $97,000.

Contract B involves the construction of a new water supply well, with well building and installation of new waterlines from the wells to the storage tank at an estimated cost of $243,000. Contract C includes interior and exterior painting of a 75,000-gallon multi-column elevated water storage tank, repairs to cathodic protection and installation of a tank mixing system, estimated at $205,000. Contracts A and B are to be completed by July 31, with Contract C to be completed by Oct. 31.

The bids are due to the county by 10 a.m. April 16. Copies of contract documents are being made available through a dropbox. All prospective bidders must contact the county by email, commissioners@co.knox.oh.us, or by phone, 740-393-6703 to obtain a link to the contract documents in the dropbox. Bidders are required to register with and obtain bidding documents from the commissioners’ office.

Larry Di Giovanni/News The elevator for the renovated Central School building, located in the rear of the building next to the parking lot, will transport patrons to the upper two floors where the Veterans Services Office and county board of elections offices are located. It is scheduled for inspection this week.

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Larry Di Giovanni: 740-397-5333 or larry@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews