Traill County Courthouse project gains tractionIt’s been a long time coming, but Traill County is starting to see the light at the end of the hallway in an effort to resolve a problem with cramped, outdated offices.
By: By Kevin Bonham, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
It’s been a long time coming, but Traill County is starting to see the light at the end of the hallway in an effort to resolve a problem with cramped, outdated offices.
The Traill County Water Resource District voted Tuesday to move its offices later this year to the LEP Complex, an office building a couple of blocks away in downtown Hillsboro, N.D.
That will free up space in the 1950s-era county courthouse annex for the county social services department to expand. It also will help to alleviate security issues at the county jail, which also is housed in the annex.
The project is a vastly scaled-back version of three separate proposals to build a new county courthouse annex, all of which were rejected by voters, the last one in 2010.
After those defeats, county commissioners decided to use what money it had in a renovation fund and to apply for energy improvement grants to address the most serious issues — cramped space and security between the jail and county offices.
When the renovation began in May, the county temporarily closed the jail, sending prisoners to Grand Forks and Cass counties.
Several social service department employees worked out of remote locations, including home offices. In addition, five staff members have been housed since 2007 in offices in the Wells Fargo Bank building in Hillsboro.
And the water resource district temporarily moved from the annex to a jury room of the original courthouse.
The renovation project is not yet completed however, according to Auditor Becca Braaten.
“The goal is to get everybody back to where they’re supposed to be, and get the project finished as soon as we can,” she said.
Construction crews still are working on the annex heating system, as well as a security window for the sheriff’s department.
The water resource district is expected to move within a month or two. Then, crews will complete renovations in the annex, to allow most social service department employees to return.
The county will continue to lease space for social services employees at Wells Fargo. However, the county’s building committee is continuing to look for ways to bring the entire department under one roof.
Kevin Bonham is a reporter
at the Grand Forks Herald,
which is owned by Forum