Elevator repairs underway, court session cut short
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Crews with Albany Elevator Services began work Tuesday on the elevator in the Grady County Courthouse.
The work is anticipated to take up to two months to complete and will cost the county $32,400.
The elevator has been out of commission since Nov. 13 when three individuals were temporarily trapped inside.
The lame elevator proved challenging for court officials this week during the December trial term. The courthouse’s sole electric lift is the only way for handicapped citizens to access upper floors. The main courtrooms are located on the second story.
Joe Mulholland, district attorney for the South Georgia Judicial Circuit, which includes Grady County, says after hearing pleas Monday and Tuesday, he decided it would be best to put off some potential trials to the next court term.
“The elevator posed a problem for juries,” Mulholland stated. “We had some minor felonies we could have tried but given the cost to bring jurors back (to court) and given the elevator situation, it made more sense to continue them to the next term.”
Mulholland said he expects to have some pleas entered on Jan. 9, 2020.
The elevator’s faulty hydraulic shaft has to be removed in sections, rebuilt and put back, making it a labor intensive job, according to Grady County Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III.
Grady Superior Court officials had large screens temporarily placed in the board of commissioners meeting room on the first floor providing video access to court proceedings for those unable to climb the stairs to the second floor courtrooms.
According to Johnson, county personnel from the Code Enforcement office, which is located on the third floor of the courthouse, are coming downstairs to assist those who cannot climb the stairs to the code enforcement offices.
“It could be finished sooner, but we are looking at six to eight weeks,” Johnson said.