Four Plans For County Courthouse
Architects presented four plans for the Marshall County Law Enforcement Center to county commissioners at their regular meeting on Tuesday.
A dozen people attended the meeting to listen and provide input on the latest plans, all of which included keeping the current courthouse and constructing an addition.
Dean Marske and Scott Sikkink of HKG Architects in Aberdeen met with commissioners and explained the four plans they developed, calling them the Eden Plan, the Sheriff’s Plan, the Optional Plan, and the Original Scaled Down Plan.
The Eden Plan had been presented by Curtis Samson at the last commission meeting. It calls for the first floor of the current Courthouse to be used for the jail and for the current courtroom to remain. An office building would be built apart from the current structure to house county offices. No structural changes can be made to the courthouse without big expense, so jail space would not be significantly changed. The total cost of that project would be $3,105,941.
An addition attached to the courthouse is called for in the Sheriff’s Plan. That plan calls for remodeling the first and second floors of the courthouse and adding a two-story addition. That would move law enforcement out of the courthouse and leave the county offices. A second stairway would need to be added to the second floor of the courthouse and the third floor would be used as storage. That plan carries a price tag of $8,616,091.
The Optional Plan is similar to the Sheriff’s Plan, but it would also include a basement level for storage. All the county offices would be housed in the current courthouse with slightly more jail space than the Sheriff’s Plan. The cost for that plan would be $9,254,691.
Two weeks ago HKG had presented a scaled back version of its original $13.1 million plan that called for an entirely new structure and the demolition of the current courthouse built in 1908. The scaled back version was priced at $11.6 million and included keeping the old courthouse as part of a Courthouse Plaza, but the jail and county offices would be housed in the new building.
“We feel the Eden Plan would cover most of our needs,” said Samson. “That new building at eight to nine million dollars is a tough sell in my neck of the woods. You may ask for it and end up with nothing.”
“I think that after the public meetings most people thought something needed to be done with our jail,” said meeting attendee Kirk Moeckly. “We’re past due in getting something done, and I think the Eden Plan is a little like kicking the can down the road.”
“Five years ago the price for a whole new building was $5.9 million,” said Sheriff Dale Elsen. “Down the road the cost will just keep climbing.”
Commissioners plan to look over the plans presented on Tuesday and asked HGK representatives to come back to the July 23 meeting to answer questions that may arise.
In other action, the board held conditional use hearings for a laying hen operation at Newport Colony and for a substation on the Hillhead Road for East River Electric and approved both requests.
A variance for Dirk Weber of 126 feet from the high water mark and three feet from the property line setback was approved. Plats were approved for the East River electric substation and for the Allen Subdivision in Fort Township. A drainage permit application from Kirk Rabenberg was also approved in Waverly Township.
Building permits were approved for Dirk Weber, Newport Colony, Ward Satterlee, Richard Wismer, Gerald and Arletta McGregor, Mike Werner, and Randy and Lynn Carlson. Building permits were denied Roger Johnson due to the location being a public alleyway and lack of compliance on a previous permit, and to Brad and Paula Heitmann because the structure did not conform to the zoning ordinance.
Highway Superintendent Dustin Hofland said workers are trying to fix roads and haul gravel but are limited due to wet conditions. He noted that he is looking into switching the chip seal project from the Fort Road to the Hillroad this summer due to a greater need. Work would be done on the Fort road next summer. Hofland told the board that the agreement with DOT for two tall lights at the rail crossing north of town has been signed by the state, and he said a 1992 Ford pickup has been declared surplus.
The board received a letter from Phil George of Red Iron Township requesting the weed department to spray ditches on the Sica Hollow Road. That request was passed on to the weed supervisor.
Travel was approved for Hofland to Custer for the state LTAP demo on July 17, for Shannon Lee to Bismarck, ND, Aug. 13-14 for a NCRAAO Conference, to Linda Haaland to Pierre July 9-11 for an office of child and family service conference.
Two bids were received for a lawnmower declared surplus and awarded to Ryan Biel for $375. No bids were received for a patrol car declared surplus.
Commissioners approved a $2 per hour raise for Erin Collin-Miles to $23,127 per year. It approved a name change from Prairie Sky to Mealy Holdings for a retail on-off sale liquor and South Dakota wine license, and it approved paying drainage board members $40 per meeting.
The next meeting of the board will be Tuesday, July