Douglas County Commissioners vote against courtroom build-outIn a divided vote, Douglas County Commissioners decided against starting construction on a courtroom build-out.
By: Wendy Wilson, Alexandria Echo Press
In a divided vote, Douglas County Commissioners decided against starting construction on a courtroom build-out.
“We have lost space because of [the Law Enforcement Center] remodel,” Court Administrator Rhonda Bot told the commissioners at a special board meeting last week. “We have lost a chambers and a conference room.”
The courts did not have sufficient space for additional judges coming to the courthouse, nor was phone or computer access available to them, according to Bot.
“When we have a visiting judge or our magistrate that comes in once a month, we have nowhere to put that person,” she said. “Now, with everything that is going on with these trials, we really need that additional space.”
The conceptual estimate for the build-out project was $798,743, according to projections prepared by Contegrity Group, Inc.
“We need to finish some of these projects,” Commissioner Dan Olson said. “We keep coming back here and sit here and do this every three to four months or six months or a year. We are all getting a little grayer and a little older.”
Commissioner Jerry Johnson recommended delaying the construction until some of the county’s current bonding was paid.
“I think we just need to be patient with this,” Johnson said and motioned for a vote not to do the build out at the present time.
Olson said, “I’m just wanting to get these projects done.”
Commissioners Bev Bales, Norm Salto and Jerry Johnson voted to delay the courtroom build out project. Commissioners Dan Olson and Paul Anderson voted against the motion.