The report from a Grand Jury that convened at the Eufaula Courthouse on Aug. 12 was recently released. In the report it was noted that the Grand Jury examined 75 presentments, and handed down 63 indictments on the cases. Along with the 63 indictments, there were seven cases no billed and five cases continued.
The largest part of the Grand Jury’s report presented to Circuit Court Judge Burt Smithart of the Third Judicial Circuit of Alabama did not deal with presentments or indictments being handed down but with the condition of the Eufaula Courthouse itself.
Almost three-and-a-half pages of the four-page report were in reference to items in the courthouse that either needs to be repaired or replaced.
The list of items in disrepair began in the County Administrator’s office where according to the report, the air conditioner unit is not working and the recommendation to repair the unit was given.
The report went on to list the following items that were found during the Grand Jury’s inspection:
>> In the old jail, the windows are broken and should be replaced.
>> A knob in the elevator is missing and there is not air circulation.
>> In the Revenue Offices, electrical wires are not in conduit, walls need painting, ceiling tiles need replacing, windows do not work properly, there are water leaks and the carpet needs to be replaced.
>> In the Reappraisal Office, the ceiling leaks and should be inspected and repaired and the ceiling tiles replaced. The baseboard is missing from water damage. The light ballasts need to be replaced, broken tiles need to be replaces, exposed electrical wires need to be repaired and covered, additional electrical outlets need to be installed, the old equipment needs to be removed, the air conditioner need to be repaired or replaced and additional filing space is also needed.
>> In the Probate Office, the compressor in the air conditioner struggles to kick in and should be repaired. The temperature in the hallway is too hot. The cabinets are old and broken, carpets and rugs are dirty, wallpaper is peeling, baseboards are dirty, and there are bugs in the light fixtures. In the break room the ceiling panels above the sink need to be replaced due to the air conditioner in the floor above leaked and molded the ceiling tiles. This ceiling is now open and exposed and should be closed. In the Judge’s office, there are lighting issues with the can lights and the fluorescent lights. In the Chief Clerk’s office, additional electrical outlets should be installed. The air conditioner in the downstairs conference room does not cool and should be repaired. Some of the lights are out in this area and those should be replaced. In the upstairs, the computer stools are worn and should be replaced. Additional electrical outlets should be installed in the middle office and there are old phone wires hanging that should be secured or removed. In the storage office, the ceiling tiles are stained from water leaks and should be replaced. Stronger storage shelves are also recommended. A climate controlled area for documents is recommended. In the area where tags are issued, the ceiling tiles are stained from water leaks and should be replaced. In the restrooms, both should be updated, the sinks need faucets installed and the toilets should be replaced.
>> In the Circuit Clerk’s office on the second floor, the air conditioners leak which causes flooding downstairs. The air conditioner units are not reliable and often do not work. The air conditioner units in the hallway do not work and should be repaired or replaced. There are wet spots in the ceiling, and it is recommended that this be inspected and repaired. The sheetrock wall has a crack that should be repaired.
>> In the courtrooms, the carpet is ripped, the floors squeak, the ceiling tiles are falling, the air conditioner leaks, and the chairs are noisy. All of these items should be inspected and appropriate repairs or replacements made. Some of the benches have cracks and it is recommended that repairs be made.
>> In the Juvenile Probation Office, the air conditioner is not cooling to capacity and should be repaired. The power plug located on the floor should be removed.
>> In the District Attorney’s Office, the air conditioner does not work in two of the offices and replacement parts have not been found to replace them. It is recommended that these units be replaced. The ceiling light bulbs are out and should be replaced. There are cracks in some of the walls that should be inspected and repaired. The floors are not level and have soft areas that should be inspected and repaired. Additional storage space is recommended.
>> In the public restrooms on the second floor, it is recommended that new ceiling tiles, new flooring, new wall tiles and paint be installed. There is no air circulation and it is recommended that this issue be inspected and repaired.
>> In the second floor hallway, paint was found to be chipped, baseboards dirty and ceiling tiles need to be replaced. The air conditioner by the elevator and the air conditioner by the courtrooms reportedly do not work and the recommendation to replace them due to them not working for a lengthy period of time was made.
In the report it is noted that throughout the second floor, the floors are not level and have dips and squeak in many areas. The Grand Jury recommended that the floors be inspected for safety reasons.
The last areas to be inspected were the stairwell and basement. In the stairwell, water leaks and cracks in the walls were found. In the basement, the sump pump pit needs a cover, the water pipes need hangers to hold them and exposed wires need to be secured and covered. A considerable amount of water damage, mold and clutter was found in this area.