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Courthouse upgrade tops county list for equipment, facilities

Courthouse upgrade tops county list for equipment and facilities

Oct 1, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Fremont County's courthouse is to get a facelift after commissioners approved $1.03 million in spending on equipment and buildings.

The money was for 17 items making up the county's capital revolving fund budget for fiscal year 2014, which began July 1.

About $100,000 is allocated for rebuilding accesses to the front entrance of the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander. The buildings maintenance department will add a handicapped accessible ramp, install a new stairway and rebuild the four-foot-high retaining wall along the front face of the building.

The only direct route now from the parking lot to the door on the courtroom side of the building is up a flight of stairs.

The capital revolving fund is the county's mechanism to pay for equipment, vehicles and buildings that cost more than $10,000. Entities receiving the new item repay its cost back to the fund several years through a lease arrangement.

Handicapped visitors to the courts have to go into a door at the parking lot level on the county offices side, go up an elevator, out a door by the Fremont County Commission's meeting room, up a ramp ,and finally into the courtroom side, buildings maintenance supervisor J.R. Oakley said.

"It's certainly not broke because it's been working for many years, but I think it's something we should bring to the (county) board," Oakley said.

The new plan calls for a ramp from the parking lot up to the court-side doors along with a new set of stairs. Both would be heated to prevent ice from accumulating in winter.

Work would start in the spring, Oakley said.

"Our committee came up with this priority that is in front of you," County Clerk Julie Freese said. "I think the goal was $1 million."

The target is based on how much money the fund expects to receive in repayments over the course of the year.

Other items

The most expensive items in the list were $250,000 each. One was a motor grader for the county transportation department, and the other was a loan to the county recreation board to renovate the county's Green Mountain campground.

Commissioners in August approved the money to rebuild the recreation area, but it will be administered through the capital revolving fund.

Transportation also is to receive a $90,000 snow blower and $35,000 pickup truck. Three new pickup trucks were on the list for the Sheriff's Office at a cost of $40,800 each.

Two $23,000 computer servers are on the list for the county information support systems. County elections is scheduled to receive a new ballot copier and four precinct scanner voting machines, at a total cost of $39,000.

Along with the courthouse renovations, the buildings maintenance department is to receive $15,000 for a door and infrared heater for the Dubois search and rescue building. A $19,000 copier for the University of Wyoming Extension, $15,000 of software for information support systems, $40,000 for vehicle repairs, and a $10,000 trade in vehicle for the Fremont County Sheriff's Office search and rescue department round out the list.

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