April 1st deadline for completion of repairs after Courthouse fire

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's a $14 million re-do. That's what the Milwaukee County Courthouse had to undergo after a July fire destroyed the electrical system in several buildings. County officials say insurance is picking up the tab. On Tuesday, February 18th, FOX6 News got a glimpse of the County's new electrical system.

The electrical system that powers the Courthouse, the Criminal Justice Facility and the Safety Building is ready to go.

The County's old electrical system burned in a fire on July 6th, 2013. As a result, the Courthouse was shut down for two days - and some County officials had to move their offices.

Workers suffered in hot buildings, generators powered up and 10th Street was closed to make way for temporary electrical wiring.

As the County looks ahead to get all the construction done by April 1st, 2014, it is also time to look back on what happened.

"Will they be able to determine a cause? That's not a given. I think anybody who saw the room right afterwards could be forgiven for not knowing - if you could find out, because that's the thing about fires. Things get burnt. It gets hard to figure out," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said.

In recent weeks, some County supervisors were concerned insurance may not cover the costs.

Abele says so far, insurance has paid $13 million to cover the costs of repairs. He expects the remaining costs will be paid as well. There is a deductible on the insurance of $75,000.

Abele says this is the infrastructure of the main buildings of Milwaukee County government - and there is no choice but to fix it.