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Fillmore County Board approves courthouse addition design

Fri, Nov 29th, 2002
Posted in Features

Former Commissioner Robert Thompson addressed the County Board regarding the courthouse building project on Tuesday. In a soft voice that commanded silence from a somewhat uncomfortable looking board, Thompson said, "It bothers me hearing talk about a new building.We built a new building to eliminate two problems, bad parking and a crowded courthouse." Thompson pointed out that the previous boards intention was not to have to address the space issue again for twenty years. It was his opinion that those who "dont want to be in the basement, should look for a new job", that the basement wasnt being used right. He also thought the new offices were too big and that the cost of the building project would be passed on to "our children and grandchildren" and that wasnt right. With that, the retired commissioner, well known, for a cautious wallet, thanked the board for their time and left the meeting. The silence was broken with Commissioner Randy Dahl stating that the county has had the lowest levy in the countys history and felt the boards actions were justified. Commissioner Duane Bakke, referring to the action of the previous board, noted that it would have probably been more efficient to add to the existing courthouse rather than having to maintain two buildings now. David Kane and Jason Woodhouse of Kane & Johnson Architects, gave a brief presentation regarding the elevator, windows and courthouse addition/remodeling project. The main focus of concern centered around door security, especially to the courtroom area. The architects said they would be able to tighten up security. Several blueprints showing architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical plans were looked at once more. David Kane pointed out the project was about two weeks behind the original schedule. His office needed a green light. The boardroom was once again quiet. Bakke and Prestby still were uncomfortable with the size of the addition and how it tied in so close with the sidewalks. But, there didnt seem to be an option to shave off the designs floor space and gain much in savings. Commissioner Bicknese noted that F&M Community Bank in Preston had such a design in front of their building with shrubs and bench-work blending in well. Bicknese appeared content with the plans. Commissioner Root was absent, but his next term replacement, Chuck Amunrud, was also ready to move ahead. Prestby was noticeably silent. The vote passed with Prestby voting no. $1,200,000-$2,000,000 of the proposed project includes upgrading the very basics of the existing building such as heating and ventilation.The Board listened to Construction Manager Dean Sands recommendations for the Information Services remodeling project in the new county office building.The board accepted the lowest bid figures totaling $69,208.

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