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Commission seeks state grant to shore up court site

Sep 28, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing submission of a grant application for emergency funds for the Riverton courthouse facility.

The application to the State Land and Investment Board is for $21,600, which commissioner Travis Becker said was half the $43,200 price tag. The county will cover the remainder of the bill with cash reserves. The money would go toward purchasing 10 Conex boxes to surround the building.

SLIB is expected to consider the request at its Oct. 4 meeting. The grant would be through the Federal Mineral Royalty Capital Construction Account Grant program.

Becker said the application was actually submitted last week, with SLIB confident commissioners would approve the resolution at Tuesday's meeting.

The security measures follow an incident in July where a bullet penetrated the facility's exterior.

"I think this is a very good, temporary short-term solution," commission vice chairman Pat Hickerson said. "Now we need to come up with a permanent solution."

On Sept. 11 commissioners discussed using the vacant High Plains Power offices as a possible new location for the Riverton court facility.

Fremont County transportation department superintendent Dave Pendleton asked how possible it would be to put out a fire inside the courthouse with the barriers in place and suggested constructing an egress window.

Becker said discussions would be held with fire personnel and the sheriff's office about the concern.

"It has been looked at already," he added.

Commission chairman Doug Thompson asked Hickerson to draft a letter to accompany the resolution to SLIB explaining why the county is opting not to drain its own funds for the barriers, noting it was because it would further delay the county "getting a permanent solution."