Courthouse Remodeling Plans Discussed - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Courthouse Remodeling Plans Discussed

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Yellowstone County Commissioners are revamping their plans to retrofit the existing courthouse. Commissioner John Ostlund says the new plan is cheaper and smarter.

Instead of retrofitting two older buildings to deal with growth, county commissioners plan to fix the courthouse, sell a county-owned building, and add a new extension office at MetraPark. "The county attorney's office is growing to accommodate that. The felony filings are up and there are a lot of misdemeanor cases. So, we need more space for additional county attorneys, staff, conference rooms, and everything that goes along with that," Commissioner Ostlund said.

Yellowstone County Commissioner Ostlund said nearly $1.4 million plan was in the works to retrofit the courthouse, and move the extension office to a small county-owned building located on North 24th Street. "It just wasn't a good fit. The longer we looked at it by rebuilding an existing building that didn't have proper parking by making it a temporary fix; we just want a more permanent solution for extension," Commissioner Ostlund said.

Instead of the two retrofits, county commissioners plan to sell the brick building and add a new structure at MetraPark to better accommodate the extension office. Ostlund said it's a win-win situation for everyone, since retrofitting the downtown brick building would cost nearly the same as building the new structure at MetraPark. "Things are really good, and we're happy. We just have to deal with it," Ostlund said.

Commissioner Ostlund said if all goes according to plan, they will declare the brick building surplus property with a resolution of intent during the next meeting, and they'll pick a site for the extension office at MetraPark. Commissioner Ostlund said he hopes construction on the new office will break ground before the summer.