Refurbishing funds for Jefferson: Courthouse to be broached today

Jefferson County commissioners will make their case for money to reinforce the aging courthouse clock tower during a meeting today with U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

Obtaining the millions to counteract structural defects in the landmark tower is at the top of the commissioners’ list of priorities because several recent grant applications for the project have been turned down.

“At the time it was built, (the courthouse) was the premier government building in the state of Washington,” said Commissioner Dan Titterness, R-Port Townsend.

“We don’t want to lose that heritage. This is something we need to get off the ground.”

Titterness said he plans to raise the issue with Cantwell, who is scheduled to visit Port Townsend this morning.

Cantwell will visit Jefferson General Hospital at 10:30 a.m. and meet with the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce and Jefferson County Economic Development Council about the closure of the Hood Canal Bridge for repairs in 2006.

The meeting is open to the public.

The structural defect in the brick courthouse clock tower was discovered in the late 1990s. County officials say it can’t withstand sustained winds of about 80 mph.

The county has been only moderately successful in obtaining funding to bring the tower up to code, a project expected to cost $3.5 million overall.

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The rest of the story appears in the Tuesday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE, above, to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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