Yellow Medicine County favors building new courthouse
GRANITE FALLS — Yellow Medicine County is looking to build a new structure to replace its aged courthouse, rather than remodel it.
The vote came after the commissioners heard a second report on the estimated costs for upgrading the courthouse. Josh Cowdery, CTS Group, told the commissioners that the basic needs for upgrading the courthouse would cost $2.1 million.
It would cost more than $4 million to upgrade the courthouse and meet some of the county’s needs to improve the court system and provide office space for the county attorney in the building, according to the report from CTS.
The estimated costs for building new at the site and razing the structure have varied, but the commissioners have seen one proposal for a 20,000-square-foot facility at $4.4 million.
I can’t see us entertaining remodeling the old courthouse,” said Commissioner Ron Antony after referencing that estimate.
Antony and Greg Renneke authored a motion to direct staff to pursue new construction rather than remodeling. Commissioner John Berends and Louis Sherlin supported the motion.
Commissioner Gary Johnson voted no. Johnson said he wanted to see a referendum on the county’s building needs. He would also like to see the county return to its original proposal of spending an estimated $700,000 to address basic requirements to upgrade the courthouse building.