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Commissioners question timing of space reallocation

It could cost Hubbard County up to $9,000 to finalize floor plans for moving the District Courts to the Law Enforcement Center, but commissioners are already hesitating at what they say is a politically unpopular plan.

Discussion of the matter was tabled Wednesday but not before commissioners weighed in on whether they should proceed.

"It's not a good time to be saddling taxpayers with a big bill," said commissioner Dick Devine, who said he has heard negative comments from his constituents about the county's space reallocation plan.

Commissioner Don Carlson said he agreed but "if we're gonna put money out, we should put it in infrastructure."

"It isn't that it isn't nice to have, I just don't like the idea right now," Devine said. "It's bad timing."

Although the county may have up to $2 million squirreled away in a building fund, Devine says now isn't the right time to proceed.

The plan would entail spending about $2 million to move the courts to the vacant second floor of the LEC and shuffle other county offices around to give county Social Services more room.

"I think it's going to get worse before it gets better," Devine said of the current economic situation.

"The average taxpayers on the street don't think it's a very good idea and I kind of have to agree with them."

But commissioner Greg Larson said since the money is in the building fund, the county should proceed.

The issue will come up again at the March 3 meeting.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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