Archive for Sunday, October 29, 2000

County commission to consider renovations to courts, courthouse

October 29, 2000

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A plan in the works for nearly three years to upgrade the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center and the Douglas County Courthouse will be discussed Monday by the Douglas County Commission.

The project, expected to cost $4.3 million, will expand the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th, by 21,000 square feet. Renovations will be made to the courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts streets.

Commissioners also will consider soliciting bids for the project on Monday. Money generated from the 1-cent countywide sales tax, approved in 1994, will pay for the project, and the city of Lawrence will chip in $207,000 to pay for improvements for the police department in the law enforcement building.

Construction is expected to start next year.

County Administrator Craig Weinaug said the project entails moving the Community Corrections Department from the courthouse to the law enforcement building, and moving the Court Services Department from the first floor of the law enforcement building to its basement.

A merger of the two departments should be presented within the next few weeks, Weinaug said.

Other departments also will move around between the two buildings. Specific details will be discussed at Monday's meeting.

Within the law enforcement building, Weinaug said, a new courtroom will be added to accommodate a fifth district court judge, which has yet to be approved by the state.

"We do anticipate receiving another judge in the future, but we first have to have the facility," he said. "We do have one of the busiest caseloads in the state."

Commissioners also will:

Consider approving a conditional use permit for a private grass landing strip to be located at 1222 N. 200 Road, near Baldwin.

Start discussing home occupation enforcement policies.

Consider approving changes to the county's physical fitness test requirements for law enforcement officials.

Consider approving a resolution to amend and establish fees for copies of public documents.

Hold an executive session to evaluate the performance of the county administrator.

The meeting will start at 9 a.m. at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

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