Letter to the editor: Old courthouse building must be razed or repairedThe old Stutsman County Courthouse problems have surfaced again, an unhealthy situation which can result in a huge problem with no simple solution. The building must be repaired or condemned. (This is a repeat of the Zappas building with a different type of ownership.)
By: Jim Nowatzki , The Jamestown Sun
The old Stutsman County Courthouse problems have surfaced again, an unhealthy situation which can result in a huge problem with no simple solution. The building must be repaired or condemned. (This is a repeat of the Zappas building with a different type of ownership.)
The State Historical Society, which now owns the building, unfortunately has no budget, money or responsibility for maintaining it. Now, 30 years after our new courthouse, no need, want or ideas for this grand old building have been found except just letting it rot away. It could easily contaminate our new courthouse if problems are not corrected. Who pays then?
The city of Jamestown has the responsibility of “retaining the city’s health.” Health problems must be corrected. Do an inspection the building. If there are problems, issue orders to the legal owners to correct them or the building would/could be condemned.
Remember 30 years ago the old Zappas contaminating the downtown? It took a Jamestown native, Brian Lunde, visiting his parents at Christmas to recognize the Zappas building problem after 20 years of deterioration to bring us a fine new restaurant with huge private investment. This might happen yet with others such as the old Elks and/or the Masonic Temple. But a difference — they are privately owned.
Start with the city doing an inspection of the old courthouse to have any unhealthy conditions corrected. It is very probable the courts will eventually become involved before anything is resolved.
(Nowatzki is a former Jamestown business owner and resident)