Future of 1954 building up for debate Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 20, 2002

The fate of the administrative wing of the courthouse will be discussed during the county board meeting Tuesday.

Changes to the structure of the building built in 1954 is not a part of the county’s new judicial center project. But some residents have been pressing the county to vacate it and add another floor on the new facility to accommodate offices that would otherwise be in the ’54 building.

The county has not yet calculated the additional cost of tearing down the ’54 building and making the addition, but estimates it would be several million.

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The advocating citizens want an open space to show the north face of the old courthouse to incorporate the historical structure into the downtown scenery, and they claim the old building is poorly designed and difficult to retrofit for technology. They also asked the county to restore the bell tower on the old courthouse and match the exterior of the new judicial center with the old building.

The board will also:

– Vote on a request by the Lake Chapeau Habitat Committee to be a co-applicant for the dam that the committee and the Department of Natural Resources have been disputing in a lawsuit.

– Consider a request by Brian Sorenson to construct an ATV trail, on property in Section 26 of Moscow Township.

– Discuss a permit to Donald Mortenson of LDM New Richland Inc. for a new hog barn in Freeborn Township.

– Decide whether to hire an additional employee for the recorder’s office.