The annual Membership meeting of the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservations Society was held Thursday, March 20.
Board Chairman George Clary gave a list of highlights for 2013. The Courthouse was rented for filming of NBC show Revolution on March 19. Clary reported a revenue of $3300 from the rental and that the crew was professional and clean. The crew will be back to film additional scenes in the near future. The Annual Gala was a success, bringing in about $33,000 in 2013. This year’s Gala will be chaired by Debra DuPont. The first Community Wide Garage Sale held on the Courthouse lawn was well received and plans are in the works for another to be held May 3. Other highlights were the Lavender Festival, the Courthouse Lighting, and the fact that the Courthouse retained full tenancy for most of the year. Clary also thanked the volunteers that have made it possible for the Courthouse’s Visitor Center to open seven days a week.
Treasurer Barry Pierce gave the Financial Report. He reported $147,000 in revenues for 2013. The courthouse counts on revenue from six major sources; Rent from the offices within the courthouse, Events held in the courthouse (weddings, grounds events, etc.), Market Days, Membership Fees and Donations, the Annual Gala, and HOT Funds. Expenses for the year were $82,000. The net income for the year was reported to be about $20,000 more than 2012. “We’re moving in the right direction.” said Pierce. “In December of 2013, the courthouse had, in it’s bank account, about $122,000. We’re beginning to build a bit of an operational nest egg… we certainly have places to start to spend that money.”
The Courthouse Board brought in an architectural firm out of Austin, Volz O'Connell Hutson, to asess the needs of the Courthouse. “They did a thorough look around the roof, the attic, the outside of the building, and they prioritized the needs into categories.” reported Board Chairman George Clary. Clary showed a few photos from the architects showing extensive corrosion on the roof, rotted rafters in the attic, various water damage, gaps between masonry and window sills, and rotted window sills. The architects listed the roof in “immediate attention.” “What we have are not actually construction estimates,” said Clary, “it’s just the architects estimate. It’s not the same as a bid. To actually replace the roof, we’re looking at $494,000. If we repair the roof, the architects are talking $282,000.” The second highest priority listed by the architects was repairing the outer masonry. The estimated cost given to the board for that project was $60,000.
Clary reported that the Board had decided to focus on repairing the outer masonry and window sill concerns. The Board has applied for an LCRA matching grant that would cover $25,000 of the cost of that work. They will know the result of their application in June.
Before the close of the meeting, two new members were nominated and approved to the Board of Directors. Karen Watson and Jim Harris will replaced the vacancies left by long time members Marilyn Mikes and Carolyn Boydston. Marilyn was born in the Courthouse and will continue to do volunteer work. Carolyn and her husband Bob have been involved with the Courthouse for over 20 years and will also continue their volunteer work. Carolyn said it had been a “labor of love.” They were both presented with certificates of appreciation for their service.
After the meeting, a Board meeting was held during which Jim Harris was voted as the new Courthouse Board President. He is also an Attorney who is a tenant in the Courthouse.