The current maintenance program at the Ralls County Courthouse in New London began when someone noticed that paint was peeling from the bell tower. Upon closer inspection, it was determined that there was wood rot.
While they were repairing that, the courthouse roof was also in need of replacement, and the soffit on the north side of the  building needed replacing, too.
After taking a full inventory of renovation needs, the tab came to around a half million dollars.
New exit doors will be installed, the county commission room will be expanded, and concrete will be repaired on the south entrance to the basement.
There was some water getting into the northeast basement wall, so that area is to be dug up and resealed.
County Clerk Ernie Duckworth said the money is coming from the courthouse improvement, funded by a half cent sales tax that expires the end of December 2014.
Bleigh Construction is doing most of the work. In addition, old lead paint had to be removed.
“Structurally, we’re trying to keep the courthouse in good shape,” Duckworth said.